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Ethical Issues in Screening for Hearing Impairment in Newborns in Developing Countries

B. O. Olusanya, L. M. Luxon and S. L. Wirz
Journal of Medical Ethics
Vol. 32, No. 10 (Oct., 2006), pp. 588-591
Published by: BMJ
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27719721
Page Count: 4
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Ethical Issues in Screening for Hearing Impairment in Newborns in Developing Countries
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Abstract

Screening of newborns for permanent congenital or early-onset hearing impairment has emerged as an essential component of neonatal care in developed countries, following favourable outcomes from early intervention in the critical period for optimal speech and language development. Progress towards a similar programme in developing countries, where most of the world's children with hearing impairment reside, may be impeded by reservations about the available level of support services and the possible effect of the prevailing healthcare challenges. Ethical justification for the systematic introduction of screening programmes for hearing in newborns based on the limitations in current primary prevention strategies, lack of credible alternative early-detection strategies and the incentives for capacity-building for the requisite support services is examined.

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