SSW Blog

Wisconsin’s Misstep of Passing State Law for Cochlear Implants

Posted on | June 15, 2009 | 7 Comments

As I had learned with dread feeling that Wisconsin had recently passed the bill proposal, Senate Bill 27 to require health insurers that cover hearing aids and cochlear implants for persons under 18 years of age, I bet that Wisconsin State Government made a fatal mistake to pioneer this unethical law. It is very dangerous precedent, representing the early stages of blowback from the propaganda campaign of promoting the lobotomy.

There are some unforeseen factors of Cochlear Implants (CI) as follows:

  • CI surgeries are experimental.
  • CI is not considered as a matter of death or life situation.
  • CI are called as “enhanced hearing aids”.
  • CI is useful for people who lose their hearing later but may not be suitable for people who are born deaf.
  • CI is a mechanical and foreign but non-organic. (Similar to pacemaker – limited functional ability)
  • FDA’s new warning states the risk of bacterial meningitis in children (3 out of 6, those children developed meningitis between three and four years after implantation.)

As I don’t want to go on as I believe most people would agree with me on the above list. Wisconsin’s passing the state law will definitely open a Pandora’s box  – to lead to some possibilities:

  • Unnecessary CI surgeries on babies who are born deaf. In long run those who wear CI have to endure months of speech therapy, every five or ten years of replacing CI devices, every two or three months of replacing batteries, and loss time of early learning (lagging educational, environmental and social skills).
  • Risk of loss of neurological ability during few successive CI surgeries
  • Unethical and radical therapies
  • Assemble line CI surgeries
  • Lack of the Right to Choose for Humanly Life  – very similar to lobotomy which surgeries occur near the brain and nerve system

I bet some people don’t wish anyone to fiddle with their brains and especially put foreign part inside their brains.  It is sad for everyone, not only Deaf people that school board members, educators, physicians, and professionals are interested in money rather than saving human lives.

As you would imagine about 200 babies are born deaf or hard of hearing in Wisconsin each year (so the Wisconsin govt had claimed), I would not blame their parents but they don’t understand about the dangers of CI. Parents would bring their children to hospitals for CI in high hope to see their children becoming normal like hearing people.  Come on, we hate hospitals! I am not surprised that some parents do not realize going forth and back to the hospitals must be frightening to their children.

Sorry, parents, not really, that is false hope but some deaf people who are trained to speak well would speak like deaf voice, no matter, how long they were trained. What if some deaf people are innate not to speak well should be “forced-speech”?

The state of Wisconsin government evidently forgets one important step by checking with FDA first before proceeding to draft the bill proposal but unfortunately that state would become murderer to the deaf and hard of hearing children by forcing the insurers to cover costs but possibly unforeseen lawsuits.  Per FDA’s warning, it would be possible that approx. 50% or half of 200 newborns with deafness in Wisconsin would be exposed to meningitis after CI surgery.  Very scary figure but what the heck the state legislators think? Did they know?  Or Pity to health insurers, they will be furious if learning about FDA warning and may consider their counterattack at the state of Wisconsin. Will they?

Back to the issue on the state law written poorly by the state of Wisconsin, it should be rewritten clearly that the costs for hearing aids should be covered by health insurance carriers for persons under the years of age 18.  No No No, they should exclude CI. I cannot answer about CI because it is not safe proof and experimental but it should be up to persons above the years of age 16 – persons’ the right to decide  to choose CI, not parents. It is inappropriate for the parents who make decisions over their children.  You have to remember that loss of hearing is not a matter of life or death.  Parents should not be informed that CI would cure deafness and of course it may be ineffective, not 100% guarantee. However the parents need to understand that CI may be good tool in helping improve speech ability.

Note that if you find this article very offensive about CI I hope you keep your mind open with open heart to listen to people who had been gone through similar fate as you do. I am very grateful for my parents because they had allowed me to make a decision and believed in me as I was able to make good judgment call as adult. (At that time I became the age of 16). After some tests, I was asked by doctors that I was a good candidate for CI surgery but I had weighed my decision on my own life and my future, not parents’ future and their dreams or hope. As I had decided not to choose, I rather live normally and enjoy whatever I can. I want to tell the parents that I am not sorry about my decision and love my parents very much for respecting for my right.

Comments

  • hedor

    Amazing! Reading your article is showing very much simple and strong proved a better discussion!

  • RLM

    Thanks for writing this blog piece to criticize the state of Wisconsin government for their illogical and Stalinist approach to the cochearlization of deaf children and babies.

    I was the first one, who made the comparsion of forced cochlear implant surgery on deaf child/baby to the lobotomy from my previous blog postings. :)

    ASLize yours,
    Robert L. Mason

  • Name

    This doesn't make sense. All the law says is that insurance companies have to pay. It doesn't say that people should get the cochlear implants, it just means that those who want it won't have to become poor to get it. I don't want cochlear implant for myself, but if other people want it, why is it bad for insurance companies to be forced to pay for it? You know insurance companies are greedy and they will refuse if they can get away with it. That's why the law comes in.

  • cmssw

    Your right about people's choice to wish cochlear implant but do you agree that parents rather have the right to choose for their deaf children and expect the insurance companies to pay for it? What about the rights of deaf children as well as adults? What if deaf children do not want it? That is the reason the law may erode the rights of deaf children as well as it shifts the liability to insurance. I won't further explain but I trust you will understand the outcomes and results.

    CM

  • cmssw

    RLM
    Thanks for sharing your comments. Glad you felt the same as I do. I am sure other people are with us.

    CM

  • cmssw

    Your right about people's choice to wish cochlear implant but do you agree that parents rather have the right to choose for their deaf children and expect the insurance companies to pay for it? What about the rights of deaf children as well as adults? What if deaf children do not want it? That is the reason the law may erode the rights of deaf children as well as it shifts the liability to insurance. I won't further explain but I trust you will understand the outcomes and results.

    CM

  • cmssw

    RLM
    Thanks for sharing your comments. Glad you felt the same as I do. I am sure other people are with us.

    CM