I just got the following Moveon.org petition message in a forwarded email from an on-campus disability awareness group I'm involved with. It's a pretty biased look at some (in my view) exciting strides in hearing-loss research, but it's a typical enough response from Deaf advocates that I thought I'd post it here. Just for the record, I generally don't agree with the big-D deaf community's views on "audism," maybe because I'm not culturally Deaf myself. Audism, if you want to use that word, does exist in the forms of deaf people not being given the consideration and opportunities that hearing people have, but honestly research such as the following is intended to help, not harm. I'm all for stem cell research - I think it's beyond amazing. And, once again, hearing is a wonderful thing too. And, yet once again, it doesn't have to be either-or.
Although this raises the question all over again of whether deaf people should choose between being deaf and being hearing. Jury's out on that one. I've written about it on this blog before, but honestly whenever I return to this issue I get a little tired of thinking about it in such polarized, dogmatic terms.
Any thoughts or responses, bring them on.
Stop Stem Cell Experiment on Deaf Babies
Sign The Petition to Stop FDA's Audism
The FDA has recently approved stem cell experimentation on Deaf infants at the Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas. The experiment is to include up to 10 Deaf newborns and infants (6 weeks to 18 months old) to eradicate their being Deaf. The FDA's approval promotes the hidden cultural and linguistic genocide on the Deaf infants and is part of the eugenics to wipe out the Deaf community and our beautiful and precious American Sign Language, which is used by the ASL Deaf community and is one of the top languages studied in the USA.
The Deaf infants are human beings and have their human rights to be created, accepted, loved and supported. The FDA approved experiment will include repeated MRI screenings, possible sedation, injection of untested stem cells for that age population - all which carry long lasting risks and implications. All of this will be done in the name of CURING the infants of a "condition" of which is an ethnicity. (See Lane, Pillard, and Hedeberg)
Being Deaf is not a life-threatening condition and does not cause premature death nor does it bring immeasurable suffering. In fact it does the opposite. Many Deaf people who have American Sign Language and English as part of their life attest to being happy. If the collaborators of the study want a cure - the FDA, the Blood Cord Registry, and the Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital need look no further than ensuring that the infant has access to ASL, English, and Deaf culture. Audism (the belief that to be hearing and/or behave as a hearing person is superior to being Deaf) is the problem, not being Deaf. It is similar to the attitudes that affect minorities like Hispanic people, African-American people, like that of the "Stepford Wives" syndrome -- creating the perfect white, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, hearing baby.
It is imperative that the collaborators of this study (which all stand to have monetary gains from this experiment) be held accountable and that the funding and future profits behind this unethical and inhumane study be fully disclosed and examined.
Sign this petition to tell the President and your Congressional Representatives to stop this horrific experiment. http://signon.org/sign/stop-stem-cells-experiment
NOTE: This petition is set up through Signon.org, which is a part of Moveon.org. By signing this petition, you will be added to Moveon.org's e-mail list which you can unsubscribe. Our Alert is not an endorsement of Moveon.org, we are promoting this petition to fight Audism.