Should deaf couple be allowed to choose to have a deaf child?

March 12, 2008 3:32am CST
A british couple seeking to have a child through IVF are fighting for the right to be able to choose to have a deaf baby. At the moment the rules say that any embryos screened for disabilities can not be implanted but this couple want to be able to choose to have one implanted if it turns out to have the deafness gene that has caused their own deafness. Should they be allowed to do this or is it wrong to deliberately choose to have a deaf child? On BBC news this morning, one viewer said it was tantamount to child abuse. What do you think?
1 person likes this
2 responses
@ebsharer (5517)
• United States
12 Mar 08
NO they should not be able to choose this. I am not a really religous person but I feel that things like that should be left up to God. It is not our choice how our children are born and it should never be our choice. I think that those parents are horriable to even want that for there child. They should understand how hard it is to be deaf why would you intentinaly put your child through that?! If one of my kids had a disability we would deal with it accordingly but to give my child a disability! NEVER!!
13 Mar 08
At one point, I understood and sympathised with their argument. They didn't want to be forced to discard a viable embryo just because it carried the deaf gene. When they said that given a choice between an embroy with or without the deaf gene they would choose the deaf child, I kind of lost empathy with them. Its almost as if this child would have to be deaf so that they could make their point, which just seemed plain wrong to me. At the same time, discarding embryos because of some undesired trait does begin to smack a little bit of eugenics. I wonder how people would have reacted if the parents had some other disability, thalidomide perhaps, and wanted a thalidomide child, how would people have reacted then? Is there much difference? This particular case is a toughie.
1 person likes this
@ebsharer (5517)
• United States
13 Mar 08
When I was 4 or 5 months pregnant they wanted to test my baby for down syndrome. Because this was my first pregnancy I didn't know why I asked why do you do this. There answer was if the test comes back positive you can terminate the pregnancy! I was SHOCKED to say the LEAST. Why would I do that? Wether this child is born with a disibablty or not I will still love her, I was already in love with the little person in my belly. My choice would have been to deal with some thing God gave me and that would have been okay. If it happens and the child id deaf fine but to want it for your child. They shouldn't be having kids.
13 Mar 08
We had the same experience with our preganancies. we refused the test. Some people would say we were irresponsible. The test is not 100% accurate either, it can sometimes test positive on an unaffected child and sometimes can bring on a miscarriage.
@flowerchilde (12547)
• United States
12 Mar 08
..well, if it can be said to be child abuse that they be allowed to grow and form and live while being deaf, mightn't it also be able to be said it is child abuse to deny that embryo the life it could have had?
13 Mar 08
I think the idea that it would be tantamount to child abuse is in the idea of deliberately making sure the chiold would be born deaf. Is that very different from deafening a hearing child deliberately?