To Sign or Not? Advising Families of Pediatric Cochlear Implant Candidate

Ethics Roundtable: Case Study

Sam Wolfson is a new audiologist at Children's Oto-Audio Associates, a private practice consortium that provides otologic, audiologic, and family counseling for children with hearing loss and their families. The group offers evaluations, surgery, and follow-up services for cochlear implants. During his orientation, he observes the team discouraging the family of a young boy with profound hearing loss from using sign language if they want to pursue a cochlear implant. When he later inquires about their approach, he is told that signing interferes with the acquisition of verbal language.

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