Enhancement Technology and Outcomes: What Professionals and Researchers Can Learn from Those Skeptical About Cochlear Implants [Book Review]

Health Care Analysis 20 (4):367-384 (2012)
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Abstract

This text presents an overview of the bioethical debate on pediatric cochlear implants and pays particular attention to the analysis of the Deaf critique of implantation. It dismisses the idea that Deaf concerns are primarily about the upholding of Deaf culture and sign language. Instead it is argued that Deaf skepticism about child rehabilitation after cochlear surgery is well founded. Many Deaf people have lived experiences as subjects undergoing rehabilitation. It is not the cochlear technology in itself they view as problematic, but rather the subsequent rehabilitation process. Because they themselves have experienced what they describe as harmful effects which relate above all to the idea of normalization, they have articulated worries for the new generations of deaf children in need of rehabilitation following cochlear implant surgery. These insights have attracted little attention, but could represent relevant ethical questions of which both practitioners and researchers in the field of implantation might be aware

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