What’s wrong with cochlear implants?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Lisa22785 4 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #10795

    Tyler-ORiley32488
    Participant

    Why do so many hearing-impaired or deaf people often become so offended about the possibility of hearing or cochlear implants? What is wrong with hearing?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Tyler-ORiley32488, Gender : M, Age : 22, City : Salt Lake City, State : UT Country : United States, Social class : Middle class, 
    #36516

    Lisa22785
    Participant

    What wrong with NOT hearing is how some people of the deaf community feel. I watched a program on this topic recently, and many people in the deaf community feel as though they were not meant to hear and that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that: that being deaf is a part of who they are. It’s easy for us who have been blessed with the ability to hear to say, ‘You can get an implant and hear like me,’ but is it not a blessing to be deaf and fully functioning? I think that’s how those opposed to the cochlear implant feel.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Lisa22785, Gender : F, City : Gaithersburg, State : MD Country : United States, 
    #34017

    Millie Tansill
    Participant

    In addition to Lisa’s good answer: I have been involved with the Deaf community and have read a number of books on their culture. Cochlear implants never really work for someone who gets them at the age of 2-3 or older — it has to do with the age your brain learns how to ‘hear.’ So then you’ve got a kid who has a hard time both fitting into the Hearing world and the Deaf world — he can’t understand language well enough aurally, and certainly no one has ever worked on exposing him to the Deaf world, so he doesn’t know ASL and is seen as an outsider there. Then, there’s always the fact that cochlear implants are a very new and untested technology and the only way to truly test it is to surgically insert a device into a newborn infant’s ear (a dangerous operation)! And, most importantly of all: Deaf adults wonder why they aren’t consulted for a solution when Hearing parents are faced with a deaf newborn.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Millie Tansill, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Lutheran, Age : 24, City : Alexandria, State : VA Country : United States, Occupation : television, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #17383

    Vicci
    Member

    I am not deaf but it is my area of work, hence giving myself ‘permission’ to respond. It is important to learn the difference between ‘losing hearing/not being able to hear’ and being deaf, i.e. culturally Deaf (hence the use of capital ‘D’. Many Deaf people perceive that a cochlear implant represents trying to change the fundamental cultural basis of who they are (like trying to turn a black person white – yes, to some it’s that important). This view should be respected. However, for some people it also relates to the medical profession’s invasion of, in particular, children in the desire to ‘cure.’ The surgery involves drilling into a child’s skull and is not reversible. That doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to do it; some people are committed to the idea, and it may be right for them. What is ‘wrong’ is the lack of informed choice and the overwhelming pressure that Deaf people come under to conform to the hearing world – rather than the world accepting Deaf language and culture as part of a multi-cultural/multi-ethnic society.

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    Name : Vicci, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, City : Southampton, State : NA Country : United Kingdom, Occupation : Senior Manager, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #15381

    Ashley
    Participant

    I was born deaf, and I can say that the cochlear implant idea is offensive in more ways than one. As some of the others posted, it feels as if the Hearies are trying to ‘make’ us one of them. That, I’m afraid, is the main reason why any parent would choose to do this to their child. They want their deaf child to BE hearing. Plus, not only is the skull being drilled into, but also the inner ear is destroyed in order for the implant wiring to be connected. For that reason, there is only one implant given. That, and if the child is given this, that eliminates any sports opportunities. Football? Forget it. Basketball? Nope. These sports would pose a risk of destroying the implant and possibly additional injury to the child.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Ashley, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Disability : Deaf, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 24, City : St. Augustine, State : FL Country : United States, Social class : Middle class, 
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