I have mentioned the raging debate over whether cochlear implants are destroying "Deaf culture" or not, and have been trying to learn more myself. I understand that as a hearing person ("hearie"), I cannot fully realize what it is like to be Deaf (Deaf with a capital "D" is often used to refer to deaf persons who do not have an implant, and are not aided, and deaf without a capital "D" is often used to refer to deaf persons who have some degree of hearing either through hearing aids or cochlear implants) - just as I cannot fully see what it would like to be an African-American. However, I just don't agree that cochlear implants are evil, and I don't agree that by having Drew implanted that I am "not accepting him for who he is".
I am somewhat active on All Deaf, a message board which has many different sections, or topics. I originally went there to find out more about the Deaf Culture and others views on cochlear implants, hearing aids, or whatever type of things they are talking about. I have found valuable information and some very helpful people, but a good deal of discussion on the "Hearing Aid and Cochlear Implant Page" centers around the debate over whether children should be implanted, or whether anyone should be implanted. It can get uncomfortable in there!
This thread, titled "Cochlear Implants Causes Injuries and Death By Electrocution" (take a look) was started by a man who supposedly read a study in the Journal of American Medical Association that indicated people were dying from using cochlear implants.
To save anyone from unnecessary worry, he completely made it up. If you read through the thread you'll see that I challenge him, and he admits it was faked. Later he even admits that if parents went to bed worried that their child might die from electrocution that "his work is done". He was actually proud that spreading misinformation may cause parents anguish over whether their child might be killed.
If you are interested in this debate, I suggest you read that thread. I don't want people to think that ALL people who aren't in favor of cochlear implants think that way, but I think there is value in knowing that some people out there will spread any kind of misinformation they can in order to cause fear or uncertainty about the use of cochlear implants.
It's sad, because parents are just trying to do their best for their child, and wading through lies like this make it difficult to figure out what they should do. It is also sad because people like this cast a bad light upon other, non-hearing, non-implant deaf persons and their Deaf Culture, which probably hurts their way of life more than any piece of technology ever will.