March 3, 2024

Should deaf child be forced to wear hearing aids?

Deaf father says that his daughter should make up her own mind

a cochlear implant (not Emma)A deaf man in Washington state could be
charged with contempt of court for refusing to force his partially deaf
8-year-old daughter to wear a coclear implant. “I want to give my daughter
her own choices in life,” says Shaun McLaughlin.

Emma McLaughlin-Orton can speak and hear well
with the help of the hearing aids, although one of them is allegedly very
uncomfortable. But her parents have split up and when she is with her father,
she prefers not to wear them and to communicate with American sign language.

However, Mr McLaughlin’s estranged wife,
Jennifer Orton Miller, has obtained a court order mandating that the child should
wear the device during all waking hours, except when “activities would
preclude” their use, such as swimming or wearing a helmet. According to the Spokesman-Review, this has enraged the
deaf community. “I think it impacts them because deaf people feel
like they don’t have sufficient authority over their own lives,” says
Emma’s father. “I guess I feel like, on the list of civil rights issues –
– -we’re kind of toward the bottom of the list.” ~ Spokesman
Review, Apr 29

Michael Cook
deaf community
informed consent