When Fortune, a slave, died in 1798, his owner, Dr. Porter, dissected his body and preserved the skeleton. Fortune's bones remained in the doctor's family until they were given to the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1930.
In the 1950s, a young African American woman named Henrietta Lacks went to Johns Hopkins Hospital for cancer treatment. During her treatment, tissues were taken from her body without her knowledge and used to grow cells for research purposes. These cells, later nicknamed HeLa cells, were discovered to have extraordinary growth abilities and have been used in countless experiments since.
This panel discussion examines ethics in medical education, research, treatment, and practice and explore the parallels between Fortune's story and that of Henrietta Lacks.
Panelists include: Professor Taunya Lovell-Banks, University of Maryland School of Law; Dr. Curt Civin, University of Maryland School of Medicine; David Lacks, son of Henrietta Lacks; Ysaye Barnwell, composer and curator of the Fortune's Bones Project. Moderator: Kojo Nnamdi, WAMU-FM.
Presented in partnership with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park. www.claricesmithcenter.umd.edu/fortune
Recorded On: Monday, February 6, 2012