Deaf News: German doctor takes parents to court to allegedly ‘force’ them to give child cochlear implants

Posted on November 13, 2017

A German sign language publishing company, Karin Kestner, has released an article stating that the parents of a 2yr old deaf child are allegedly being taken to court over their decision not to give the child cochlear implants.

According to the information from Karin Kestner, Dr. Andreas Gerstner, a chief ENT consultant at Braunschweig city hospital, reported the parents to the Youth Welfare Office, after they refused bilateral cochlear implantation for their child. The Youth Welfare Officer referred the case to the Family Court, and the case will have its first hearing on 20th November.

Gerstner was quoted by Karin Kestner as stating that in cases where medical treatment can have a serious impact on the patient’s lifestyle, the caregivers alone should not make the final decision, but should have ‘external support’.

This is a landmark case, as for the first time in Germany a judge will decide indirectly on the fate of all newborn Deaf children. The outcome of this court case will set a precedent, which will impact on around 1000 children born each year. If the child receives cochlear implants, this case may become an expected standard for all future cases.

Karin Kestner wonder who the external experts are, who will be consulted, and whether or not parents (Deaf or hearing) should not be allowed to decide on their child’s life and lifestyle by themselves.

By Emily Howlett.

Original articles (in German) here:


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