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Surgical Consent

Bioethics and Cochlear Implantation

Linda Komesaroff, Editor

Publication Year: 2007

With the rate of cochlear implantation reaching 80% to 90% of all deaf children, some as young as five months old, Surgical Consent: Bioethics and Cochlear Implantation arrives at a critical juncture. This comprehensive collection features essays by Priscilla Alderson, Inger Lise Skog Hansen, Hilde Haualand, volume editor Linda Komesaroff, Paddy Ladd, Harlan Lane, Karen Lloyd, Eithne Mills, Paal Richard Peterson, Gunilla Preisler, Kristina Svartholm, and Michael Uniacke. These worldwide renowned ethicists, educators, and Deaf leaders express their diverse perspectives on the bioethics of childhood cochlear implantation according to their discipline and a number of themes of inquiry: human rights, medical and social ethics, psychology, education, globalization, identity, life pathways, democracy, media, law, and biotechnology. Drawing on current research, this volume presents the varying reactions around the globe to the high rate of implantation. These views contrast sharply with the medical perspective of deafness overwhelmingly promoted through the media and by the cochlear implantation industry. At the same time, the contributors aim to disrupt the binaries that have long dominated the field of deafness — speech versus sign, instruction through speech and sign systems versus bilingual education, and medical intervention versus cultural membership in the Deaf community. Surgical Consent begins and ends with the voices of Deaf people. Their articulate and, at times, raw insights clearly delineate the issues of power, positioning, and minority-majority group relations that are inherent in the dominant hearing culture’s understanding of diversity and globalization.

Published by: Gallaudet University Press

Title Page

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pp. i-

Copyright

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pp. iv-

CONTENTS

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pp. v-

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FOREWORD

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pp. vii-

This work is an edited volume by Deaf and hearing authors about issues of bioethics and deaf people. It brings together diverse perspectives on cochlear implantation in a series of essays from ethicists, educators, and Deaf leaders. The contributing authors were asked to respond to the issue of childhood implantation in relation...

CONTRIBUTORS

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pp. ix-

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. xi-xiv

This current time is a critical moment in the field of deafness internationally. More than twenty years since the first cochlear implant system gained clearance for use by adults in the United States, the cochlear implant has become the dominant approach to treating congenital deafness among people in most Western countries...

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1 COCHLEAR IMPLANTATION, COLONIALISM, AND DEAF RIGHTS

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pp. 1-29

This chapter examines the issue of childhood cochlear implantation against the background of the situation for Deaf people in the United Kingdom (with reference to other countries where relevant). It is my belief that one reason for the lack of success in critiquing or challenging cochlear implantation is that Deaf discourses...

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2 CONSENT TO SURGERY FOR DEAF CHILDREN: MAKING INFORMED DECISIONS

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pp. 30-41

This chapter reviews the background social and ethical debates as well as the decision-making frameworks that are concerned with surgery for children. When choices are very hard to make and when the outcomes and balance of potential harms and benefits are complicated or disputed or uncertain, then it can be helpful to follow...

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3 ETHNICITY, ETHICS, AND THE DEAF-WORLD

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pp. 42-69

This chapter is concerned with ethical aspects of the relationships among language minorities using signed languages (called the Deaf-World) and the larger societies that engulf them. It undertakes to show that such minorities have the properties of ethnic groups and that an unsuitable construction of the Deaf-World as a disability...

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4 PARENTS, CHILDREN, AND MEDICAL TREATMENT: LEGAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

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pp. 70-87

This chapter considers the nature and extent of the interaction that occurs between medicine and law whenever medical interventions are proposed. It does so in terms of the criterion of valid consent, which is the legal precondition that must be satisfied to protect the person’s right to personal autonomy. An international...

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5 MEDIA REPRESENTATION AND COCHLEAR IMPLANTATION

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pp. 88-119

The daily press has been reporting on cochlear implantation for more than two decades. In doing so, it has not only reflected but also shaped the representations of deafness as well as constructed particular views of deaf people and cochlear implantation. Deaf people have sought access to and inclusion in the media and have, at times, successfully engaged in “textual relationships of power” (Luke...

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6 THE PSYCHOSOCIAL DEVELOPMENT OF DEAF CHILDREN WITH COCHLEAR IMPLANTS

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pp. 120-136

This chapter discusses the psychosocial situation for deaf children with cochlear implants from multiple perspectives: the parents’ perspective, the teachers’ perspective, and the children’s perspective. It considers results from international research and a recent Swedish longitudinal study that (a) indicate problems if...

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7 COCHLEAR-IMPLANTED CHILDREN IN SWEDEN’S BILINGUAL SCHOOLS

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pp. 137-150

A growing number of deaf children with cochlear implants are entering Swedish schools for deaf students. Although many parents are choosing a cochlear implant for their deaf children, Swedish parents also call for Swedish Sign Language to be used in these schools. This chapter sets out the dilemma that the special schools face...

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8 A STUDY OF NORWEGIAN DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING CHILDREN: EQUALITY IN COMMUNICATION INSIDE AND OUTSIDE FAMILY LIFE

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pp. 151-164

In the past, the only option for Norwegian parents was to send their deaf or hard of hearing child to a school for deaf students, and the school made the decision with respect to the language (or languages) of instruction. Hearing aids were an option only for children with some residual hearing, and parents were rarely offered the...

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9 FREEDOM OF SPEECH FOR DEAF PEOPLE

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pp. 165-173

This chapter discusses some of the educational and human rights issues that arise if focus is placed solely on the oral education of children with cochlear implants without giving priority to those children’s access to information. The author questions how deaf people’s freedom of speech can be secured and whether they can...

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10 DEAF AUSTRALIANS AND THE COCHLEAR IMPLANT: REPORTING FROM GROUND LEVEL

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pp. 174-194

The English poet David Wright was one of an exceedingly rare species—a deaf person who has had published an account of what it is like to be deaf. In the quote above, Wright was explaining his choice to write about deafness before starting to read about it. He wrote those words during the 1960s, well before the cochlear...

INDEX

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pp. 195-203


E-ISBN-13: 9781563683862
E-ISBN-10: 1563683865
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563683497
Print-ISBN-10: 1563683490

Page Count: 218
Illustrations: 7 tables
Publication Year: 2007

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Deaf children -- Rehabilitation -- Moral and ethical aspects.
  • Cochlear implants -- Moral and ethical aspects.
  • Deaf -- Rehabilitation -- Moral and ethical aspects.
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