Implants in Children: Ethics and Choices
Did you feel pretty apprehensive at the operation?
the surgery, yeah, . . . and her facial nerve was damaged for probably . . . 8
or 9 weeks. It was horrible, it was just really bad.
eye wouldnít shut and [her face] drooped down so when she smiled only [one]
side went up.
INTERVIEWER: So, what did they say about that? Did they say, Donít worry, it will go away, or what did they say?
Did they tell you at the beginning this was a risk?
did, but the doctor said, Itís never happened to me.
INTERVIEWER: Did it clear up gradually?
just kind of quickly [after about 2 months].
Mother of a 10-year-old girl implanted at age 3
A mother of a son who was deafened by meningitis when he
was 2 years old said she felt that the implant center was not completely honest
with her when he was implanted in 1990. She said that after the surgery started:
[My son] was in for about 2 hours
when the doctor came out and said, We could only put in one channel. And I said,
Why? He said, Because the cochlea was ossified. I said, Didnít you see that on
the x-ray? And he said, Yes, but I thought that sometimes itís not solid,
sometimes itís not hard, a lot of times, most of the time, itís soft . . .
but his is just like bone in [the cochlea].
Later in the interview, the mother was asked if she had
known that only one electrode could be implanted if she would still have gone
ahead with the surgery.
would not have gone through with it because . . . itís a big surgery to put
him through . . . . You know, at least with seven, fifteen, twenty-one
[electrodes] you have a chance of one or two or three working. But with one, you
only have one chance.
Do you feel like the doctor was honest with you about that, or do you think
he was not?
feel, really, that he was so eager to do it that he wasnít honest with me.
Mother of a teenager implanted in 1990