Ethics of cochlear implantation in young children

T. Balkany, A. V. Hodges, K. W. Goodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Certain leaders of the Deaf community are attempting to generate opposition to cochlear implants in children by pitting the fights of deaf children and their families against the needs of deaf society. They have labeled physicians as unethical and CIs as 'child abuse,' resulting in misunderstanding, anger, and violence. However, the arguments of these leaders are internally contradictory: they hold that deafness is not a disability but support disability benefits for the deaf; they maintain both that cochlear implants do not work and that they work so well that they are 'genocidal' [i.e., they will eliminate deafness). Their positions oppose the ethical principles of beneficence and autonomy as they relate to self- determination and privacy. Ethical standards hold that the best interests of the child precede those of a special interest group and that parents have the responsibility to determine their children's best interests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)748-755
Number of pages8
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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