Deutscher Gehörlosen-Bund (German Deaf Association)
Österreichischer Gehörlosenbund (Austrian Deaf Association) (German web portal for the hearing impaired)

To all organisations and authorities involved in the case of Lee Larsen, whose hearing is scheduled in Grand Rapids for October 4th.

We, German and Austrian organisations of the Deaf, wish to express our support for the deaf mother, Lee Larsen, in her fight for her parental rights.

We are convinced that cochlear implants can be a benefit. But we also know that there have been failures, as well, and that implants always entail a risk, as recently shown in the reports about meningitis infections and deaths.

Furthermore we are convinced that living with deafness – without cochlear implants – can be as fulfilling as the lives of hearing persons. So, it should be the decision of every individual, or, if children are involved, of the parents, whether to undergo surgery or not. This right should not be restricted even if the parents themselves are deaf.

They know what it is like to be deaf, and they are able to make a responsible decision.

Gerlinde Gerkens, president of the DGB
Helene Jarmer, president of the OGLB
Bernd Rehling, webmaster