April 20, 2011

Cochlear Implantation For "Medical Reasons"

It is interesting to me how some deaf people are willing to accept the idea of other deaf people getting cochlear implantation for treating symptoms such as tinnitus, because to them this is a real medical issue. If a deaf person got cochlear implants because they want to hear better, then they would think that what they did was unnecessary or wrong.

So, to some of those who are fine with deaf people suffering from tinnitus to receive cochlear implantation, why would you use scare tactics and totally false claims that cochlear implantation is guaranteed to fail with those who choose to get implanted for hearing reasons? I have seen some of you leave nasty comments to deaf people considering cochlear implantation to help them hear and to parents considering getting cochlear implants for their children. But, when a well respected deaf individual gets a cochlear implant, it is fine, because this individual was suffering from tinnitus. Some of you even claimed that a certain individual received one due to vertigo (which is unlikely). At least this is what I gathered from several of these types of comments left at different places over time.




  1. i suffer from tinnitus and no thank you...not interested in a c.i. for any reason actually.
    but to each his/her own, i suppose.

  2. Right, what you pointed out to, is true. What's the difference? As far as I'm concerned, ears were meant to hear and if parents or recipients want to gain hearing (not a cure!) with CI, what is the difference. Both are for medical reason. Hearing loss is a medical condition, make no mistake about it.


  3. It's like Zeta-Jones a welsh lady who married and American actor Michael (?) she went public and said she received mental health treatment, all of a sudden MH is acceptable DOH !!! It's perverse society is discriminatory and unaccepting of illness and other issues yet accepts it if a celebrity has it, no doubt why being a drugged up alcoholic is perfectly OK if you book in to some celebrity re-hab place or been on TV/Films. That's what deaf are doing wrong, we haven't enough celebs to make deafness acceptable.... we need an Oscar-winning star with an CI (If only to annoy Marlee Matlin lol....).

  4. Candy, it is because you see deafness from a pathological point of view that you see it as a medical condition. I see it from a culturally point of view so it is not a medical condition.

  5. Ugh. Cochlear implants is just something I've learned not to talk about (much like others in the Emily Post polite conversation topics). It's too emotionally charged for many people to think clearly about both sides of the issue. I had a friend get called an "audist" for using the term, "severe hearing loss" to describe an audiogram. Personally, I think the medical and the cultural can mesh, but it's just not worth wasting energy trying to fight. It's unfortunate that the mindset is either you support one or the other.

  6. Hearing LOSS may be a medical condition. But I was born profoundly deaf, never lost any hearing, and so don't see my condition as medical at all! I am deaf, at best honorary Deaf, but I am no signer so I am not even arguing from a cultural POV. I am viewing this from my own personal viewpoint: I rejected the medical view of deafness when I was about 11 years old, at least a decade before I even came across ASL itself, much less its culture (another decade or two).

    CI is just one of those things (kind of like the Israel-Palestine conflict, actually) I stay away from. I tend to think consent should be involved, and I'm wary of the extent to which very young children get them but ultimately I am not those childrens' parents, so...

    I do advocate for all deaf children to get ASL plus whatever else -- something that was denied to me and thus I can speak very specifically to. Rather than rag on CI. I'd rather see all those CI kids get ASL in addition -- I think that's the best outcome scenario anyway.

    Hearing loss people -- I think would benefit from ASL, but frankly I understand why most of them won't, and will pursue a medical fix, and that's fine. I just wish the world at large would not conflate d/Deaf people and hearing loss people. That's annoying.



Keep it civil.