Informed choice and deaf children: Underpinning concepts and enduring challenges

Alys Young, Gwen Carr, Ros Hunt, Wendy McCracken, Amy Skipp, Helen Tattersall

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    This article concerns the first stage of a research and development project that aimed to produce both parent and professional guidelines on the promotion and provision of informed choice for families with deaf children. It begins with a theoretical discussion of the problems associated with the concept of informed choice and deaf child services and then focuses specifically on why a metastudy approach was employed to address both the overcontextualized debate about informed choice when applied to deaf children and the problems associated with its investigation in practice with families and professionals. It presents a detailed analysis of the conceptual relevance of a range of identified studies "outside" the field of deafness. These are ordered according to 2 main conceptual categories and 7 subcategories - (a) the nature of information: "information that is evaluative, not just descriptive" "the difficulties of information for a purpose" "the origins and status of information" and "informed choice and knowledge, not informed choice and information" and (b) parameters and definitions of choice: "informed choice as absolute and relative concept", "preferences and presumptions of rationality", and "informed choice for whom?" Relevant deaf child literature is integrated into the discussion of each conceptual debate in order both to expand and challenge current usage of informed choice as applied to deaf children and families and to delineate possible directions in the planning of the next stage of the main project aimed at producing parent/ professional guidelines. © 2006 Oxford University Press.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)322-336
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


    • Child
    • Child, Preschool
    • Choice Behavior
    • Concept Formation
    • psychology: Family
    • Female
    • Great Britain
    • psychology: Hearing Impaired Persons
    • Humans
    • psychology: Informed Consent
    • Male
    • Patient Rights


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