Sunday, 13 April 2008

Fucking insane

Couples could win right to select deaf baby

Deaf couples could be allowed to use embryo-screening technology and choose to have a deaf child, after a climb-down by the Government in the face of campaigning.

Under the proposed Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, using embryo-screening deliberately to create a child with a serious medical condition - which officials had said includes being deaf - would be illegal.

Now, however, the Department of Health has agreed to cut from the Bill any reference to deafness as a serious medical condition.

The move could pave the way for the Bill to be amended, when it passes through the Commons later this year, permitting a challenge over whether deafness should be classed as a serious medical condition for the purposes of the bill and allowing parents to pick an embryo, using IVF treatment, that will develop into a deaf child.

Hat tip Letters from a Tory

There seems to be an element of insanity in parts of the Deaf Community not prevalent in any other disabled group (except perhaps shizophrenics) where there is sizeable opposition to the cure for the disability.

Twenty years ago physicians predicted a future where every deaf person received a cochlear implant that enabled them to hear.

But many deaf people saw it differently then, and still do today.

"A death knell for deaf culture," Michael Dowds of Bellevue says of the implants. Born deaf, he understands why the device appeals to some while others bristle at the suggestion.

"Some even see it as genocide," he says.

Not everyone is sold on the cochlear implant

The debate began then - this vicious, scathing debate over whether young deaf children should have the surgery at a time in their formative years when the implant would work best - or whether they should be allowed to grow up within “deaf culture”, surrounded by their peers. “Cochlear implants will destroy deaf culture”, activists screamed. “It will eradicate our ‘culture’ as we know it! Sign language is a rich and complex language - we cannot let it disappear!” So at the cost of improving the quality of life for hearing impaired people, a new movement began - its aim to guilt, shame and get hearing parents to question whether they should offer the operation to their child.

Deaf by Choice


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