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This is a common thing parents of a child that’s born deaf ends up going through.  Do they get the child a cochlear implant or do they forgo that in favor of sending the kid to a deaf school and being part of Deaf Culture?  The culturally deaf (Deaf) will insist that giving the child a cochlear implant implies that the kid has a disability and equate it to child abuse, but is it?

But getting a CI for a child is like getting them circumsized!  It’s wrong without their educated consent!

I’ve even seen this thrown around in regards to equating giving the child a cochlear implant the same as circumcising a male infant before he can consent to it and thus removing him of bodily integrity at a young age.

However, that’s a false equivalence.  When it comes to the mutilation of the child’s genitalia (Let’s call it what it really is, male genital mutilation), there’s no real medical benefits to chopping off a child’s foreskin after he’s born.  The number of boys that grow up resulting in phimosis is quite low and easily treated with a steroidal cream and has several treatment options available to them.

Well it at least helps prevent the spread of HIV right?

There’s also no viable study that’s worth it’s salt in regards to preventing STDs and the like.  The studies on HIV prevention were bad studies on account that they studied two groups of ment, one cut (freshly done) and one uncut and tested them before and after a 6 week period… you know, the time period when the willy is still sore and sensitive from a wound.  Not going to have much sex like that so of course they contracted HIV at a far, far lower rate. DUH!

Oh but male genital mutilation reduces the risk of penile cancer!

Yeah, and chopping off your arms and legs also reduces your risk of skin cancer.  Be my guest and lop them right off to prove the point, I’ll wait.

Ok, fine, but the CI doesn’t have any medical benefit either!

This is where you’re clearly and horrifically wrong.  If your child is missing a leg due to a defect, the child is given a prosthetic limb to aid the child in learning to walk.  If the child is missing an arm he is given a prosthetic arm at a young age and learns to effectively use it well.  If the child is missing their hearing, they are given a CI so they can grow up having an easier time hearing and learning verbal communication.  It’s in the child’s best interests to have the CI so they can learn to verbally communicate with people.

What about learning deaf culture?

Deaf culture is a very small minority among the deaf.  Only 20% of the deaf population are involved in it.  Deaf culture is entirely geared around just being deaf where the only people they can effectively communicate with are other deaf people who also sign, they also heavily rely on interpreters to be able to make it out in the real world away from their isolated culture and there aren’t infinite amount of interpreters to go around either, there’s actually a major shortage of interpreters with a far too high demand as it is.

Deaf culture isn’t all that great, I’m deaf myself and believe me when I say, been there, done that, and quite frankly found it to be quite toxic personally.

But deaf culture is beautiful and unique.

Not really unique, there are other cultures that also heavily rely on other people.  Did you know there’s also a blind culture?  There’s even an amputee culture.  Blind culture even has very similar cultural trends .  Instead of signing, they read, oddly enough.  Braille, fantastic invention, but the culture geared around it is almost exactly the same as deaf culture, the main difference is it relies less heavily on other people.

People are instantly thinking “Oh this culture is so beautiful” so are the thousands of cultures that the hearing partake it and you’re seriously considering restricting your child away from all those numerous cultures to isolate them and doom them into a single culture because of their disability?  Now THAT is child abuse.

The child won’t be better off with the cochlear implants though

Yeah they will, by leaps and bounds actually.  A deaf child without a cochlear implant going through a deaf school has lower reading, mathematical and social skills than someone hearing in a regular mainstream education.  This is also true when comparing deaf in deaf schools VS deaf in mainstreamed schools with and without the CI.

Then there’s the future prospects of the child.  Do you have any idea how excessively difficult it is for a deaf person to find a job even when a company is hurting for help?  I use hearing aids and lip read because I have residual hearing and can usually get away with that very well to the point one on one a person won’t even realize I’m deaf, though may be a bit creeped out by my stare to lip read.

Being a very well spoken, oral, lip reading deaf person, I literally have employers that refuse to hire me because of my disability.  I’ve had one hiring manager tell me it would be a different story “if I had that implant thing”.  Deaf adults with a cochlear implant are are more likely to obtain gainful educations and gainful employment both than deaf people without the cochlear implants.

Deaf people with cochlear implants have a better time adapting to various social settings and adopting varying cultures, end up with a variety of friends with differing opinions, cultures, ethnicities, tastes, etc all banded together through a common language, as opposed to deaf culture which is isolated with it’s own language and not able to cross cultures due to a language barrier.

Your child will literally be better off significantly in every possible aspect.  Your child doesn’t need deaf culture.  Your child doesn’t need sign language.  Your child needs a cochlear implant.  It’s not child abuse to let your kid have the gift of a brighter and better future.  What is abuse, is restricting your child’s options and crippling his future.