Henrietta Lacks Estate Sues Company Using Her ‘Stolen’ Cells

Tissue taken from the woman's tumor before she died of cervical cancer became the first human cells to be successfully cloned.

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Attorney Ben Crump, center, holds Zayden Joseph, 6, the great-grandson of Henrietta Lacks, while standing with attorneys and other descendants of Lacks, whose cells have been used in medical research without her permission, outside the federal courthouse in Baltimore, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. They announced during a news conference that Lacks' estate is filing a lawsuit against Thermo Fisher Scientific for using Lacks' cells, known as HeLa cells. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)
Image via AP Photo/Steve Ruark

This article was republished here with permission from The Associated Press, however it is no longer available to read on Snopes.com.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — The estate of Henrietta Lacks sued a biotechnology company on Monday, accusing it of selling cells that doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital took from the Black woman in 1951 without her knowledge or consent as part of “a racially unjust medical system.” Tissue taken from the woman’s tumor before she died of cervical cancer became the first human cells to be successfully cloned. Reproduced infinitely ever since, HeLa cells have…

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