an epitaph for justice

immortal cell lines, pray for us

Microscopic photos of HEK 293; MRC-5; WI-38ALT

To the persons of aborted fetal cell lines – as Christ died to bring us new life, through your unjust deaths, you also have brought forth life. Your cells have delivered immunity for generations from a multitude of diseases and sickness. Persons of WI-38 (she, 1962) and MRC-5 (he, 1966?), through your stolen breath you have protected many from polio and measles. Person of PER.C6 (unknown, 1985), your clarifying sight has guarded against influenza; Person of HEK 293 (she, 1972), your kidney provides purifying hope against Covid-19. Pray for us, that we may be faithful with our lives and work towards the preservation and respect of all made in the image of God, from conception to natural death.

Henrietta Lacks, Smithsonian PortraitALT

Henrietta, as Christ poured out his blood for the healing of nations, your cells have been poured out for the advancement of healing of the human community. May we always remember your contributions with gratitude while seeking justice and merciful care for all. Comfort those who are sick, especially those who are uncared for or exploited by those empowered to heal. Pray that we will approach our neighbors and our community with respect and love in protecting our common health.

(Source: docs.google.com)