I’ve gone back and forth on the debate of cochlear implants. I’ve been watching it go from an experimental technology into something commonplace.
Is it abusive to have invasive surgery for congenital deafness or is it abusive to *not* have the surgery if the opportunity is there?
My question is:
Does the potential patient consent?
It’s difficult. I’ve worked with kids with severe physical handicaps. Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome and the like. [I volunteered for a long time] Every attempt to assist them with with the ability to communicate their desires is made by.the people that work with them.
With infants though, there is a severe language barrier. Children 2+ it should be possible to communicate enough of it and certainly 3.5+ but under the age of 1.5-2 yrs, it’s hard.
A benefit to starting as early as possible is that this valuable time-frame of high nervous system activity will allow the brain to “do its thing” and accept the cochlear implants and the neural input as normal.
In a future of transhumanism which we’ve been dipping our toes in for a while now, this will become more and more common with other things.
Yet, is it right?
Regarding the social factor, here’s somebody who is a dual citizen of hearing and deaf community. She got the implants when they were really new. She was 6 years and excited for the chance to hear. She got them in 1990.
Her story is fascinating.