Deaf demand right to designer deaf children

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Meecrob, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. Meecrob macrumors member

    Meecrob

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #1
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article3087367.ece

    From a first look, it seems outrageous to allow parents to force disabilities on their own children. But it raises interesting questions: what is the standard of a disability? Is it the place of the government to decide whether parents can choose sensory deprivation over a "healthy" embryo? Who is to say that deaf people don't lead as happy lives as people who hear?

    On the other hand, is it ok to impose an irreversible condition like this? From later on in the article:
    Don't forget that the definitions of "normal state" and "disability" have changed drastically over time and will inevitably continue to do so.

    Input?
     
  2. Schnebar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #2
    I do not think that it is right for the parents to impose deafness on their children.

    What if the parents die at a young age and the child is left with a disability because of the selfishness of the parents.

    The child will still probably communicate at home without hearing because it will be easier for the whole family. But it will be harder for them at school and career if they cannot hear.

    If we have the technology to pick embryos then it should be used to make sure that the least amount of children have disabilities.
     
  3. samh004 macrumors 68020

    samh004

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    I have a number of deaf friends and even learned Auslan a few years ago in Australia, so got well versed with this sort of discussion. It's interesting how with advances in science all sorts of things are suddenly possible and raise all sorts of issues.

    I wonder what the chances of having a deaf child born from 2 deaf parents would normally be, if it was just left to nature ? Does it say in the article (sorry I'm not going to read it right now, I'm too tried).

    Trying to find an answer to this question is difficult though, because if I say it should just be left to nature, then so should a lot of other things, and we shouldn't be intervening in a lot of other things... so I'll go with pro-choice... as in, the parents should have the right to choose what's best. In 20, 30 years time we'll all know if it was the correct decision or not, and the world might have better adapted itself to answer questions like this, and decide who's choice it really is.

    Being deaf is about communication, a different language. Can this be compared to choosing what language your child should learn from a young age ? Surely Chinese is a good language to start with and not English, as that's going to be a big power in the not too distant future, and learning a language when your younger is much easier than when your older.

    So are all parents that don't teach their children Chinese from a young age effectively giving them a disability ? They will find it harder to get a job in China in the future if they don't know the language.

    Not trying to change the subject here, but that leads to people in authority choosing what is and isn't disability, or an illness, etc... and then your back to the dark ages again. I don't think I need to say what I am thinking here, and I am not just going after one party here, but your solution leads down that road.

    Everyone will be the same and all like the same things, the things that someone in authority or power thinks you should like.
     
  4. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #4
    I don't think we should be allowed to screen embryos for 'disabilities' such as deafness or blindness.

    Blind people often end up with amazing hearing and musical abilities (Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles, two of the greatest musicians to have lived are examples), and I'm sure the same goes for deaf people and amazing abilities.

    However, forcing a child to be born deaf is IMO, completely wrong.
     
  5. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #5
    I'm not keen on that idea.

    If you're deaf naturally then that's one thing. To optionally remove part of a persons defence system is another. We rely on sound to help keep us safe.
    Forcing a disability so they can only live in your culture isn't good, no matter what the disability is.

    I wear glasses and contact lenses. The cost of all that has built up over the years, plus the lack of vision without wearing them isn't good. I could never wish that upon anyone else.
     
  6. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #6
    From my experience, the deaf community is unlike any other in terms of how it sees the disability (to a great extent, it doesn't see it as a disability at all).
     
  7. Meecrob thread starter macrumors member

    Meecrob

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #7
    Interesting. Care to elaborate?
     
  8. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #8
    I think it is wrong. It is intentionally putting problems on the kids they have to suffer with their entire lives. While they can live a fairly normal life there is a lot of suffering because of it. When I work as a cashier this one lady was deaf and her 6 year old was with her. We had to talk though her 6 year old who could translate for both of us and lets face it a 6 year is very limited being the one doing the translating.

    Their are a lot of jobs they can never have and are very limited on what they can do for a living. I for example work in a feild that would never hirer some one with a lot of phycial disabilities and if one gains one due to an injury they are let go from the company and go on LTD insurances.

    Also they are more of a drain on our government who has to help pay to help cover the cost. It is one thing to be born that way and I have no problem with goverment hand outs but when doing it on purpose it makes me sick that I have to help pay for the rest of the kids life because of selfish parents.
     
  9. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #9
    Being deaf is about a lot more than language. There is a lot more to sound than just what is spoken and it would be wrong to force someone to spend a life missing out on sound so they "fit in" better at home. Whether the child can hear or not, they still have to learn sign language to communicate with their parents.

    Why not let models choose "perfect" embryos so they fit in better with their lifestyle?
     
  10. Schnebar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Yeah good points. But the child could still learn English later if they wanted. A hearing child of the deaf parents could grow up not learning english and just knowing sign language but they always have the option of learning English later on in their life.

    I agree that the line between disability and differences can get blurry and if people get to out of control with embryos everyone could be the same. But I still think that the science should be used for most reasons like if the child will have severe health problems.
     
  11. Macaddicttt macrumors 6502a

    Macaddicttt

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #11
    I find it reprehensible to choose your embryo, let alone make sure that it has a particular disability so that it will fit in better with the family's culture. Let alone the fact that deafness is a disability that the parents would be imposing on their child without their consent, since when is "fitting in better with the family" worthy of embryonic selection? If the technology were to develop enough, would we be allowed to choose embryos that are tall, are short, naturally athletic, naturally bookish, etc. just to "fit in better."
     
  12. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #12
    I'm never too good at explaining things, but I'll say that a great many in the deaf community see deafness as just something different about themselves, rather than being a limitation. There's a huge debate in the community about cochlear implants, which many in the community feel take away from being deaf. It imposes on a deaf person's identity in a way.
     
  13. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    I'm where I need to be
    #13
    Oh goodie, one of those issues that philosophers are going to write papers about or at least make reference to :p. Its an issue where you're going to find no absolute answers :eek:
     
  14. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    I'm where I need to be
    #14
    I think spoken and sign languages are a little bit different though. If they did have a child with hearing, it would be in that child's best interest to learn English as young as possible. That said, I don't know how a child couldn't learn English, if he/she is growing up in an English speaking country
     
  15. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    #15
    I think that is a horrible idea. I don't think its fair to intentionally give an innocent and otherwise healthy baby a disability. Its a crime and its cruel. Making a child deaf will ruin some of their chances in life. Yea you can say everyone has equal rights but who wants to hire a person that can't hear. It's the cruel truth.

    What about a designer baby with no arms and legs?
     
  16. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #16
    Are these the same people who would criticize hearing parents for aborting prospective deaf children? I don't agree with screening for deafness either way since it's not a major handicap in this day and age.

    The only medical conditions which I'd consider aborting over would be one where the child would be in constant pain, have a very short life expectancy or where they'd be so disabled that they'd never be able to live without 24 hour nursing since I think their quality of life would be poor.
     
  17. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #17
    The idea that an embryo has a language or culture is totally absurd. Imposing a lifetime of deafness by choice on an unborn child is outrageously selfish.
     
  18. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #18
    I sincerely hope you never have to make that decision. The hardest I've ever been a part of.
     
  19. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #19
    The deaf community can shout it as loud as they want but deafness is a disability, no matter how well they overcome it. To deprive a child of being able to hear is just insane to me.
     
  20. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
  21. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #21
    On a side note, I wonder if there are people who need glasses but don't wear them to fit into a certain culture? Isn't it in the persons best nature to be as healthy as possible for reasons much more important than identity and trying to fit in (on both sides).
     
  22. furcalchick macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #22
    i'm going with the deaf parents here, despite popular opinion, and i'm not deaf btw. although i'm not keen on selecting certain eggs either, i personally think that everyone in the world is disabled in one way or another. the thing is that society had adapted to most of them, but others have not. so essentially, more or less, the parents are picking out a specific disability (that is to be deaf).

    and another thought, do you think all deaf people desire to hear and feel subhuman/missing out on life because they can't hear? i know that some deaf people would think of themselves as disabled if they could hear and that being deaf is normal for them. and i have noticed that it's all about what a deaf person can't do, not what they can do. just a thought and i wanted to get a counter-argument in this.
     
  23. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #23
    What a truly bizarre thing to want in your child :confused:

    Really really stupid idea IMO.
     
  24. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #24
    I'll be interested to hear RedTomato'a view on this.


    I don't think any designer baby is a good idea.
     
  25. letsgorangers macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Location:
    TN
    #25
    No, I don't think it's right to demand a deaf child.

    With that being said, this is a difficult issue. I did deaf relay for a few months in a call center. We had deaf culture training as a part of our on job training. We were told from the start that deafness is not a disability. We were not allowed to use the word disability in reference to who we served and could even be fired for it. As part of our deaf immersion training, a deaf guy came in and talked to us. It was very humbling and enlightening. I think it's probably hard for deaf parents because until you enroll your child in school, you are their primary teacher. Children learn to speak from what they hear around them. It must be difficult to not be able to teach your child to speak -- and even if they go to school early to learn, you can't help them with pronunciation and all of that. Perhaps they feel like they are failing their child because they can't provide oral learning? Having a child that is deaf eliminates this -- deaf parents are immediately on their level and can teach them the way that they learned. The man that came and spoke with us had a child that could hear. He said it was difficult for him and his (also deaf) wife in terms of needing baby monitors that would flash lights in their room instead of being able to hear the baby, etc. Difficult or not, he didn't seem to mind at all that his child could hear. He recognized that the child would need language training early on, but he was ok with that. I think meeting this guy was the most important part about of our deaf training because it was extremely insightful. Years later, I don't remember much about the job (except that it was EXHAUSTING) but I know that I won't ever forget him!
     

Share This Page