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How do you think you would react if you discovered hidden family secrets similar to the ones Deborah learns? 

Created: 07/15/11

Replies: 6

Posted Jul. 15, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 368

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How do you think you would react if you discovered hidden family secrets similar to the ones Deborah learns? 

As much as this book is about Henrietta Lacks, it is also about Deborah learning of the mother she barely knew, while also finding out the truth about her sister, Elsie. Imagine discovering similar information about one of your family members. How would you react? What questions would you ask?


Posted Jul. 16, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dianel

Join Date: 07/16/11

Posts: 15

RE: How do you think you would react if you discovered hidden family secrets similar to the ones Deborah learns? 

I would probably react just of Deborah did, with horror and sadness that a sibling was so callously discarded. However, if you start shaking the family tree, some ugly fruit will fall out. Remember, we are all too human. Human nature is still the same today as in the past.


Posted Jul. 16, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jop

Join Date: 07/16/11

Posts: 14

RE: How do you think you would react if you discovered hidden family secrets similar to the ones Deborah learns? 

The information revealed to Deborah changed her sense of self in profound ways. Learning about her mother and sister intensified her feelings of loss for both of them; but her sense of belonging to both was strengthened.
I think anyone would react to revelations like these in the same way.


Posted Jul. 17, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
chetyarbrough.com

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 14

RE: How do you think you would react if you discovered hidden family secrets similar to the ones Deborah learns? 

With some of the same feelings that the Lacks family revealed. One cannot help but feel that privacy rights were invaded. Who would not be frustrated by researchers and media people wanting to get information that helps them become successful but does nothing for you as the giver of information? Who would not be incensed by a doctor that ignored your questions or underestimated your ability to understand vital information about a sick or dying family member?


Posted Jul. 18, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
nancyo

Join Date: 07/18/11

Posts: 8

RE: How do you think you would react if you discovered hidden family secrets similar to the ones Deborah learns? 

I did discover one of these "hidden family secrets" a few years ago and it was devastating at the time. I could sort of understand how Deborah was feeling -- I felt sucker punched, sad, etc. I was, for the most part, however, angry.


Posted Jul. 18, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kathrynk

Join Date: 05/21/11

Posts: 31

RE: How do you think you would react if you discovered hidden family secrets similar to the ones Deborah learns? 

Yes, I too would feel devastated. Also angry and used. And I have never suffered from the pain of discrimination! I guess I hope I would be able to find some gift in the experience to somehow heal my own heart from the pain. Secrets are sometimes held out of shame within a family and those perhaps are the more harmful. This family was used -- and in that sense then, also abused.


Posted Jul. 28, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
marcias

Join Date: 07/25/11

Posts: 5

RE: How do you think you would react if you discovered hidden family secrets similar to the ones Deborah learns? 

Discovering family secrets were one thing but the Lacks felt used and were very angry. Hopefully the emotions they felt didn't make objectivity impossible for them. Accepting Henrietta's horrific death and the helplessness of science to save her would be the fundamental issues to resolve for me. The monetary compensation they felt they deserved would do nothing to ease the loss of Henrietta or the frustration of any cancer loss.


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