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Oprah Winfrey

HBO movie on Henrietta Lacks puts spotlight on Johns Hopkins

HBO movie on Henrietta Lacks puts spotlight on Johns Hopkins

As a movie starring Oprah Winfrey about Henrietta Lacks and her groundbreaking cells hits television screens Saturday, one major character in her story has remained muted.

Johns Hopkins Medicine, whose doctors took Lacks' cells without her consent during a diagnostic procedure in 1951, has kept a low profile amid the fanfare surrounding the HBO movie, based on the bestselling book "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot.

The movie — like the book before it — thrusts Johns Hopkins into an uncomfortable spotlight and prompted some Lacks family members and others to call for financial compensation for her descendants as a form of atonement. By...

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