Bioethics Discussion Blog: Refusing to Cast a Deaf Ear to the Ethics of Maintaining Deafness within a Deaf Family

REMINDER: I AM POSTING A NEW TOPIC ABOUT ONCE A WEEK OR PERHAPS TWICE A WEEK. HOWEVER, IF YOU DON'T FIND A NEW TOPIC POSTED, THERE ARE AS OF MARCH 2013 OVER 900 TOPIC THREADS TO WHICH YOU CAN READ AND WRITE COMMENTS. I WILL BE AWARE OF EACH COMMENTARY AND MAY COME BACK WITH A REPLY.

TO FIND A TOPIC OF INTEREST TO YOU ON THIS BLOG, SIMPLY TYPE IN THE NAME OR WORDS RELATED TO THE TOPIC IN THE FIELD IN THE LEFT HAND SIDE AT TOP OF THE PAGE AND THEN CLICK ON “SEARCH BLOG”. WITH WELL OVER 900 TOPICS, MOST ABOUT GENERAL OR SPECIFIC ETHICAL ISSUES BUT NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO ANY SPECIFIC DATE OR EVENT, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIND WHAT YOU WANT. IF YOU DON’T PLEASE WRITE TO ME ON THE FEEDBACK THREAD OR BY E-MAIL DoktorMo@aol.com

IMPORTANT REQUEST TO ALL WHO COMMENT ON THIS BLOG: ALL COMMENTERS WHO WISH TO SIGN ON AS ANONYMOUS NEVERTHELESS PLEASE SIGN OFF AT THE END OF YOUR COMMENTS WITH A CONSISTENT PSEUDONYM NAME OR SOME INITIALS TO HELP MAINTAIN CONTINUITY AND NOT REQUIRE RESPONDERS TO LOOK UP THE DATE AND TIME OF THE POSTING TO DEFINE WHICH ANONYMOUS SAID WHAT. Thanks. ..Maurice

FEEDBACK,FEEDBACK,FEEDBACK! WRITE YOUR FEEDBACK ABOUT THIS BLOG, WHAT IS GOOD, POOR AND CONSTRUCTIVE SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT TO THIS FEEDBACK THREAD

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Refusing to Cast a Deaf Ear to the Ethics of Maintaining Deafness within a Deaf Family

You may not be affected by this topic but as one interested in the ethical issues within society, it is important that you don't ignore and cast a deaf ear on an ethics topic that relates to behavioral actions of other cultures attempting to maintain uniformity and comfort.

There is a view in the culture of the Deaf to maintain deafness within the deaf family. The options, which have been proposed in the literature  to accomplish this cultural requirement would be to 1) prior to implantation of a preserved embryo to first determine whether it had the genetic makeup to be deaf and, if so, proceed with implantation and 2) have the mother take a toxin during a normally started pregnancy to cause the fetus to be born deaf.  Of course, there is a third option: for the family to adopt a deaf child into that deaf family.

So without casting that deaf ear to this topic, do my visitors agree that there is nothing unethical in the culture of the Deaf to maintain that culture by acquiring a deaf child?  If the goal of maintaining the culture is ethical, then about the options presented, would my visitors consider them all ethical to meet that goal? If not, which ones and why? I will be interested to read your opinions.   ..Maurice.

8 Comments:

At Wednesday, August 08, 2012 12:58:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

M Hayry writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics 2004 and available as a pdf file through this Scholar Google link , provides one view of the ethics of the issues in this thread's topic. The Abstract of the article follows. What do you think? ..Maurice.


If genetic diagnosis and preimplantation selection could be
employed to produce deaf children, would it be acceptable
for deaf parents to do so? Some say no, because there is
no moral difference between selecting a deaf embryo and
deafening a hearing child, and because it would be wrong
to deafen infants. It is argued in this paper, however, that
this view is untenable. There are differences between the
two activities, and it is perfectly possible to condone genetic
selection for deafness while condemning attempts to
deafen infants at birth.

 
At Friday, August 10, 2012 10:30:00 PM, Blogger Jenny McLelland said...

Simiilar ethical situation as this one - http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2007/09/ccas2-0709.html

 
At Friday, August 10, 2012 10:43:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

Jenny, thanks for the url to the VirtualMentor article. It is very appropriate to my blog topic. ..Maurice.

 
At Wednesday, November 21, 2012 1:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an audiologist, we sometimes struggle with parents who do not want to correct their child's hearing because they want them to remain a part of the "deaf culture". Actually introducing a disability (I know - deaf people don't look at it that way - but I do) - seems to be crossing a line. Of course, drawing a line introduces its own issues. Interesting dilemma.

WV mike

 
At Wednesday, November 21, 2012 3:01:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

WV mike, as an audiologist, in contrast to the professional responsibilities of a general physician, could an issue regarding your own profession's potential conflict of interest be part of the issue of the dilemma including the "drawing of a line"? ..Maurice.

 
At Sunday, November 25, 2012 4:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see how COI would be a problem - I would benefit more from a deaf child than a hearing one. Of course, as an audiologist, my role would be strictly counseling - not actually performing any service to the parents.
WV mike

 
At Sunday, November 25, 2012 4:56:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

But isn't the audiologist's professional work to followup on the initial counseling in the case where the parents decision is to accept hearing therapy? Thus, if the parents accept such therapy, you would continue to be professionally involved compared with those parents who reject treatment. As you suggested, your professional interest would be to consider the deafness of a child a disability. Maybe I misunderstood your point or your audiology responsibilities other than initial counseling. ..Maurice.

 
At Tuesday, November 27, 2012 6:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After the fact, I guess it hardly matters - you do what needs to be done. As I see this dilemma it is whether or not it is ethical to encourage or even assist parents who want to produce a child who - in my professional opinion - is disabled. And, as usual, I don't have a good answer.
WV mike

 

Post a Comment

<< Home