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October 2021

Parental request to withhold a hearing test in a newborn of deaf parents

Author(s): Barnett, S., Padden, C., Oppenheim, W., Sedberry, D., Howard, B., Shapiro, H., Gahagan, S.

Journal/Book: J Develop Behav Pediat. 1999; 20: 227 East Washington Sq, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 177-180.

Abstract: When the pediatrician went to examine Jenny at 1 day of age in the hospital, she was not surprised to find a healthy, full-term neonate with a normal physical examination, including a normal developmental assessment. She was responsive and robust with wide open eyes that engaged her mother and the pediatrician. A review of the medical records revealed that both parents were significantly hearing-impaired. Jenny's mother had a familial form of congenital neurosensory deafness. Both maternal grandparents had the same condition. Her mother learned to sign at an early age and completed a college degree. Jenny's father acquired his deaf condition at 6 years of age after an episode of viral encephalitis. He communicated through sign language and was a successful administrator. When the pediatrician suggested a hearing test (brainstem auditory evoked potential), Jenny's mother, who was able to use spoken language as well as sign language, responded with a soft smile. ''I don't think that will be necessary. We will know if she can hear in a short time.''

Note: Article Stein MT, Univ Rochester, Sch Med, Dept Family Med, Rochester,NY 14627 USA

Keyword(s): congenitally deaf; newborn hearing screening; parent consent

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