Document Detail

In one's own image: ethics and the reproduction of deafness.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16000688     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The ethics of the use of genetic screening and reproductive technologies to select against and for deafness is presented. It is argued that insofar as deafness is a disability it is ethical to act in such a way as to avoid the conception or birth of children with genetic or congenital deafness. The discovery and recognition of signing deaf communities as cultural and linguistic communities (minorities) does not alter this basic ethical position, although the consequences of widespread application of this technology appears destined to lead to the eventual disappearance of these communities. The argument that acting to avoid deafness is unethical because it will lead to the elimination of a linguistic or cultural group (genocide or ethnocide) or conversely that acting to ensure deafness is ethical, if not praiseworthy, can only be sustained if deafness is not regarded as a disability at all. I argue that the premise that deafness is not a disability of some sort is false and thus the claim that genetic selection against deafness is unethical is untenable.
Trevor Johnston
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2005-07-06
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of deaf studies and deaf education     Volume:  10     ISSN:  1081-4159     ISO Abbreviation:  J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ     Publication Date:  2005  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-08-24     Completed Date:  2006-01-31     Revised Date:  2009-11-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9889915     Medline TA:  J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  426-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, Sydney 2124, NSW, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Attitude to Health
Biotechnology / ethics
Child of Impaired Parents
Choice Behavior
Deafness / epidemiology*,  genetics*,  prevention & control
Disability Evaluation
Genetic Testing / ethics
Genetics / ethics
Self Concept*

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