Choosing Deafness for your Child
For a lesbian couple that is unable to have a child, with just to two of them, in vitro fertilization with use of a sperm donor is an option. When implanting the embryos “a vast majority of people believe that one ought to want a healthy and happy child” (Weijer, Anthony and Brennan. 2013. p.37). However, people have deferring views on what counts as healthy. The couple that I will have discussed in this paper are both deaf and they want only the embryo’s where there is a high chance of the child being deaf to be implanted (Weijer et al. 2013. p.55). Using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis the couple is able to do this (Weijer et al. 2013. p.37). Both arguments, for and against, will be discussed. Choosing for your child to be deaf is wrong.
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 police officers. The officers suspected him of theft, there was a miscommunication between the deaf man trying to indicate to officers that he was unable to hear and the officers who were unaware of what the man was doing (Martin. 2014). Due to the barrier between the officers and the man, and from the miscommunication, the officers used force on the man. Living in a community that is known to have multiple deaf people is good for a situation like this; police may go into the situation knowing what they are going to have to deal with....