Choosing Deafness for your Child
In vitro fertilization can be a way for two people, whom are unable to have children together, to have a child. With in vitro fertilization pre implantation genetic diagnostic testing is done to determine which embryos are to be implanted. Weijer, Anthony and Brennan (2013) say on page 37 that many people want to implant only the healthiest embryos. Unhealthy embryos could be labeled as those with a disability. The embryos that are considered to be unhealthy are not used for in vitro fertilization. Deafness is a condition, which some people consider a disability and some people do not consider a disability. Pre implantation genetic diagnostic testing is a very useful technology to try to eliminate the risk factors of an embryo being born with a genetic condition; it can also be used to ensure certain genetics are passed down. The couple that will be discussed in this paper are using pre implantation genetic diagnostic testing to ensure that only the embryos that have a high chance of being deaf are implanted, they believe that deafness is not a disability (Weijer et al. 2013 p37 p.55). This paper will examine deafness as a disability and deafness not as a disability; it will also examine the benefits and downfalls to using pre implantation genetic diagnostic testing.
Deafness as a Disability
A disability is defined as a physical or mental condition that affects a person’s senses or activities (Ontario Human Rights Commission). According to this definition deafness is considered a disability. Deafness causes the person to have the absence of sound. Without being able to hear the person could miss out on many activities. If unable to hear you are missing one of the five senses. Looking at the couple mentioned in the introductory paragraph, who will be referred to as Barb and Ginny from here on, they argued that their child needed to be deaf in order to function in the deaf community in which they live in. Choosing this for their child is limiting them to that community and depriving the child of enjoyments created by the sense of sound. Although deafness is not a matter of life or death, it does restrict a persons opportunities in life (Gannon. 2005. p.106). Jonathan Glover argued in Choosing Children (2006. p.23) that a person who is born deaf would never hear the sound of laughter; they will never hear a waterfall or a river. Not only does deafness deprive the of a person enjoyable sounds, it also takes away important sounds that they may need to help them survive. Glover (2006. p.23) wrote that they might not hear an approaching car. Along with not being able to hear an approaching car a person could argue that a deaf person will not hear the sirens of an emergency vehicle approaching, the personal safety of the deaf person and those around the person at risk.
Deafness is not a disability immediately noticeable in a person. This leads to problems. In 2013, in California, a deaf man was approached by...