Informed parental consent for cochlear implantation of young deaf children:social and other considerations in the use of the "Bionic Ear".
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This paper examines the social parameters surrounding the management of informed consent procedures for the parents of young deaf children for the surgical fitting of a cochlear implant ('bionic ear') to their child. Although most observers of this remarkable and well publicised medical development only see benefits in its use, the authors examine the nature of the conflict which has emerged between medical and media portrayals of the 'miracle' device and contrasting social, cultural and linguistic views of many Deaf people. The paper analyses the components of parental consent procedures for surgical implantation of their child, covering the risk-benefit analysis and, in particular, the information base that is provided for parents about the social construction of a 'Deaf life' by many Deaf people.
Australian Journal of Social Issues
© 2000 ACOSS. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.