Ethics of cochlear implantation in young children: A review and reply from a Deaf-World perspective

H. Lane, B. Bahan, R. V. Shannon, T. Balkany, A. V. Hodges, Kenneth Goodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines ethical dilemmas related to cochlear implant surgery in children. These dilemmas arise from the existence of a linguistic and cultural minority called the Deaf World. Organizations of culturally Deaf adults in the United States and abroad, as well as the World Federation of the Deaf, have, on ethical grounds, strongly criticized the practice of cochlear implant surgery in children. Three ethical dilemmas are examined. (1) The surgery is of unproven value for the main significant benefit sought, language acquisition, whereas the psychological, social, and linguistic risks have not been assessed. Thus the surgery appears to be innovative, but innovative surgery on children is ethically problematic. (2) It is now widely recognized that the signed languages of the world are full-fledged natural languages, and the communities that speak those languages have distinct social organizations and cultures. Deaf culture values lead to a different assessment of pediatric cochlear implant surgery than do mainstream (hearing) values, and both sets of values have standing. (3) The fields of otology and audiology want to provide cochlear implants to Deaf children but also, their leaders say, want to protect Deaf culture; those appear to be conflicting goals in principle because, if there were perfect implants, the ranks of the Deaf World would diminish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-313
Number of pages17
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Volume119
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 22 1998
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Cochlear Implantation
Ethics
Cochlear Implants
Language
Linguistics
Organizations
Audiology
Otolaryngology
Hearing
Pediatrics
Psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

Cite this

Ethics of cochlear implantation in young children : A review and reply from a Deaf-World perspective. / Lane, H.; Bahan, B.; Shannon, R. V.; Balkany, T.; Hodges, A. V.; Goodman, Kenneth.

In: Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Vol. 119, No. 4, 22.10.1998, p. 297-313.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lane, H. ; Bahan, B. ; Shannon, R. V. ; Balkany, T. ; Hodges, A. V. ; Goodman, Kenneth. / Ethics of cochlear implantation in young children : A review and reply from a Deaf-World perspective. In: Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. 1998 ; Vol. 119, No. 4. pp. 297-313.
@article{8d71546a88b74999b2573ebcfd4a5d2b,
title = "Ethics of cochlear implantation in young children: A review and reply from a Deaf-World perspective",
abstract = "This article examines ethical dilemmas related to cochlear implant surgery in children. These dilemmas arise from the existence of a linguistic and cultural minority called the Deaf World. Organizations of culturally Deaf adults in the United States and abroad, as well as the World Federation of the Deaf, have, on ethical grounds, strongly criticized the practice of cochlear implant surgery in children. Three ethical dilemmas are examined. (1) The surgery is of unproven value for the main significant benefit sought, language acquisition, whereas the psychological, social, and linguistic risks have not been assessed. Thus the surgery appears to be innovative, but innovative surgery on children is ethically problematic. (2) It is now widely recognized that the signed languages of the world are full-fledged natural languages, and the communities that speak those languages have distinct social organizations and cultures. Deaf culture values lead to a different assessment of pediatric cochlear implant surgery than do mainstream (hearing) values, and both sets of values have standing. (3) The fields of otology and audiology want to provide cochlear implants to Deaf children but also, their leaders say, want to protect Deaf culture; those appear to be conflicting goals in principle because, if there were perfect implants, the ranks of the Deaf World would diminish.",
author = "H. Lane and B. Bahan and Shannon, {R. V.} and T. Balkany and Hodges, {A. V.} and Kenneth Goodman",
year = "1998",
month = "10",
day = "22",
doi = "10.1016/S0194-5998(98)70070-1",
language = "English",
volume = "119",
pages = "297--313",
journal = "Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)",
issn = "0194-5998",
publisher = "Mosby Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ethics of cochlear implantation in young children

T2 - A review and reply from a Deaf-World perspective

AU - Lane, H.

AU - Bahan, B.

AU - Shannon, R. V.

AU - Balkany, T.

AU - Hodges, A. V.

AU - Goodman, Kenneth

PY - 1998/10/22

Y1 - 1998/10/22

N2 - This article examines ethical dilemmas related to cochlear implant surgery in children. These dilemmas arise from the existence of a linguistic and cultural minority called the Deaf World. Organizations of culturally Deaf adults in the United States and abroad, as well as the World Federation of the Deaf, have, on ethical grounds, strongly criticized the practice of cochlear implant surgery in children. Three ethical dilemmas are examined. (1) The surgery is of unproven value for the main significant benefit sought, language acquisition, whereas the psychological, social, and linguistic risks have not been assessed. Thus the surgery appears to be innovative, but innovative surgery on children is ethically problematic. (2) It is now widely recognized that the signed languages of the world are full-fledged natural languages, and the communities that speak those languages have distinct social organizations and cultures. Deaf culture values lead to a different assessment of pediatric cochlear implant surgery than do mainstream (hearing) values, and both sets of values have standing. (3) The fields of otology and audiology want to provide cochlear implants to Deaf children but also, their leaders say, want to protect Deaf culture; those appear to be conflicting goals in principle because, if there were perfect implants, the ranks of the Deaf World would diminish.

AB - This article examines ethical dilemmas related to cochlear implant surgery in children. These dilemmas arise from the existence of a linguistic and cultural minority called the Deaf World. Organizations of culturally Deaf adults in the United States and abroad, as well as the World Federation of the Deaf, have, on ethical grounds, strongly criticized the practice of cochlear implant surgery in children. Three ethical dilemmas are examined. (1) The surgery is of unproven value for the main significant benefit sought, language acquisition, whereas the psychological, social, and linguistic risks have not been assessed. Thus the surgery appears to be innovative, but innovative surgery on children is ethically problematic. (2) It is now widely recognized that the signed languages of the world are full-fledged natural languages, and the communities that speak those languages have distinct social organizations and cultures. Deaf culture values lead to a different assessment of pediatric cochlear implant surgery than do mainstream (hearing) values, and both sets of values have standing. (3) The fields of otology and audiology want to provide cochlear implants to Deaf children but also, their leaders say, want to protect Deaf culture; those appear to be conflicting goals in principle because, if there were perfect implants, the ranks of the Deaf World would diminish.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0031670899&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0031670899&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/S0194-5998(98)70070-1

DO - 10.1016/S0194-5998(98)70070-1

M3 - Article

C2 - 9781982

AN - SCOPUS:0031670899

VL - 119

SP - 297

EP - 313

JO - Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)

JF - Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)

SN - 0194-5998

IS - 4

ER -