Whose Deaf Genes Are They Anyway? The Deaf Community’s Challenge to Legislation on Embryo Selection

Anna co-wrote this article for the winter 2010 edition of Gallaudet University's journal, Sign Language Studies
1st November 2010

"...scientific developments in genetics have led to the introduction of laws in the UK to regulate research and development in the field of fertilization and embryology. Although contrasting perspectives were identified, the government characterized deaf people as carrying an “abnormal” gene, implying that deaf babies are born with a “serious illness” or are “physically disabled.” Deaf people challenged this view and succeeded in raising public awareness of the moral complexity of the issues and securing adjustments to the legislative framing of them. The original problem with the bill, however, has not gone away entirely with its ratification, and the status of Deaf people in British society is not unaffected by this development. Fundamentally, this experience reinforces the fact that public perceptions of deafness and Deaf people remain fragile despite the gains of recent decades."

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Emery SD, Middleton A, Turner GH (2010) Whose deaf genes are they anyway? The Deaf community challenge to legislation on embryo selection. Sign Language Studies, vol. 10, issue 2, pp 155-169