Crossing That Bridge
I do not exactly have any personal experience with CI. My unlce got one recently, which he did not benifit from, but it was his choice. Although I completely understand and agree with letting it be each individuals choice, I also know that children either learn to speak before a certain age, or they will never learn to speak.
I am absolutely in love with Deaf culture. I am learning ASL now (level 3 in college) and I desperatlly wished to learn when I was little. My aunt and her husband who live in Puerto Rico are deaf, but me being in the states I didnt get much exposure.
I am also a musician. My entire family, being Puerto Rican, are revolved around music and my brother and I were total band geeks. Music is the biggest constant factor in my life whether its playing, dancing, or just listening.
Now that you know a little about where I am coming from, my thoughts on each individual's right to choose is limited to the fact that the individual has to understand what choice they are making. I think that if I were to have a deaf child, I would get them the CI. I would personally rather give them the choice to learn speech and to hear then to not get it and then have them blame me in the future for not doing so. If they choose to not use it in the future, then it is their choice, but at least they have the choice. I do beleive people should accept themselve as the way they are, but unfortunately there are many people who do not and wish things were different for themselves.
In a way I guess I would be selfish about the desicion because I would want my child to share in the same passion my fiance and I have with music, but getting the CI does not mean you have to turn your back on ASL or the Deaf Culture. I know there are stereotypes and what not in the Deaf community with the CI, but there is always going to be those people who cannot accept you as you are no matter what.
Bottom line, each individual has the right to choose what they want. This "debate" on the CI and whether or not everyone should get it sucks, for lack of a better term, and it should not exsist. In a way you can compare it to religion. Either you chose to believe or you dont. It wont hurt you to believe and dedicate your life to a higher power, what do you have to lose? But there are those who choose not to for whatever reason. Does that mean their way of life is less than those who believe? NO. So why give people such a hard time for their choices. Its not effecting you negatively is it?
Then people with the CI should not be given such a hard time. They chose to try it, what did they have to lose in doing so? For those who are to young to decide or understand, then the desicion is left up to their parents who hopfully are ready to intergrate themselves in the Deaf community no matter what desicion they make.