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Ethics, Deafness, and New Medical Technologies

Manfred Hintermair and John A. Albertini
Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Vol. 10, No. 2 (SPRING 2005), pp. 184-192
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42658752
Page Count: 9
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Ethics, Deafness, and New Medical Technologies
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Abstract

In the last 50 years, several new technologies have become enormously important within the Deaf community and have helped significantly to improve deaf people's lives in a hearing world. Current public attention and admiration, however, seems unduly focused on medical technologies that promise to solve "the problem" of being deaf. One reason for this interest, we argue, is the public's preoccupation with deafness as a disability and promises that technological breakthroughs such as the cochlear implant will "cure" deafness. Pressure on parents to make quick and early decisions and lack of adequate information about alternatives often leave them unprepared for the consequences of these decisions. To allow deaf individuals and their families to make better informed decisions about their lives and their futures, we argue finally that professionals who interact with these families adopt inclusive and individualizing ethics.

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