Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 26, 2020

Letter to the Editor: March 9

March 9, 2017

In response to the article “Henrietta Lacks’ estate to sue Hopkins Hospital” published on March 2:

Rebecca Skloot’s critically acclaimed and prize-winning book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, is a meticulously researched and reported work of independent journalism that we have been proud to publish.

Since its publication seven years ago,  the book has brought heightened awareness to the significant contributions of HeLa cells to medicine and modern science, and numerous members of the Lacks family have participated in interviews and public events in support of the book and of the importance of telling the story of Henrietta Lacks.

In advance of the book’s publication, Ms. Skloot provided multiple copies of the manuscript to members of the Lacks family and solicited their comments and corrections, which were subsequently incorporated in the book. Lawrence Lacks consented to be interviewed by Ms. Skloot during her reporting and attended meetings with Ms. Skloot and other family members at which the contents of the book were discussed at length. The manuscript also went through an extensive fact checking process, and we fully stand behind it. Any statements made to the contrary are simply not true.

— A spokesperson from the Crown Publishing Group

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