Infants born in a hospital go through a newborn infancy screening to determine if they have a hearing loss. Some children are identified early in infancy to detect a hearing loss while other children are identified when they are a little older. After being identified as having a hearing loss, the parents of the infant or child must make important life changing decisions for the child. A cochlear implant is one of the options a parents has for their child which is a controversial procedure among the deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States.
One of the reasons why so many parents choosing a cochlear implant for their child is because hearing parents view the cochlear implant as a "cure" for deafness. On the other hand, deaf advocates view the cochlear implant as a destruction of the Deaf culture and are in opposition of the implant because of ethical reasons as well as the dangers the surgery presents.
The surgery itself is a dangerous procedure that may have irreversible consequences as well as being costly. On the other hand, the technology of the surgery allows for a deaf or hard of hearing person to receive and process stimulation from the environment that the person can in a sense "hear."
Although the surgery and implantation of the cochlear device may seem like a miracle cure for "deafness," there are many ethical issues that are raised by the deaf community and by advocates of the deaf.
GENERAL INFORMATION: THESIS, AUDIENCE, PURPOSE, ORGANIZATION Thesis Statement
Advancements in the medical field in the past few decades have allowed doctors to perform surgeries that give deaf and hard of hearing people a cochlear implant. This surgery has raised issued both medically and ethically in the Deaf community. Parents of deaf and hard of hearing children should not support the cochlear implant because of the dangers it presents in the surgery as well as the ethical issues it causes as it takes the...
References: Choices in Deafness: A Parents ' Guide to Communication Options
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Estabrooks, Warren, ed., Cochlear Implants for Kids, Washington, DC, Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, 1998.
Lane, Harlan, and Grodin, M. 1997. Ethical Issues in Cochlear Implant Surgery: An Exploration into Disease, Disability, and the Best Interests of the Child. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 7:231-251 Dead advocates who emphasize the deaf culture and awareness that the CI destroys the cultural deafness of an implanted child.
Anne Pope. Hear: Solutions, Skills, and Sources for people with a hearing loss.1997 NY, NY DK Publishing. Pg 72-75.
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