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‘Do right by Henrietta Lacks’ family attorney of Black woman whose cells are commercialized by pharmaceutical company asks


Henrietta Lacks, a Black woman, died in 1951 after being treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where her cancer cells were taken from her body and studied without her knowledge or consent. Now her family is suing a pharmaceutical company over the use of her cells, which form an immortal ‘cell line’ that reproduces endlessly outside the body, and has been used extensively in tests ranging from drug development to space flight. Yet, her heirs have received no compensation. Ron Lacks, grandson of Henrietta Lacks, and Benjamin Crump, attorney for the Lacks Family, join Joy Reid on the lawsuit.