Man faces contempt of court for not forcing daughter to wear ear implants

Man faces contempt of court for not forcing daughter to wear ear implants


KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho. – 8-year-old Emma has been deaf since birth and has cochlear implants in both ears. An attorney for Emma’s mother, Jennifer Miller, who has primary custody of Emma, says medical personnel have deemed it essential that she consistently wear the device in order for her to develop both verbal and social skills.

Emma’s father, Shaun Mclaughlin, is also deaf. When Emma is in his control the two communicate using American sign language.

In August of 2009 during a custody trial the two parties agreed that Emma would be required to wear the implants during waking hours.

When it became clear that her father was not forcing her to wear the implant in her left ear while in his custody, Emma’s mother filed a claim against Mclaughlin for contempt of court.

In a pre-trial hearing on Monday Mclaughlin told the judge through an interpreter that he doesn’t agree that he should force his daughter to wear the implants. He said he wants to honor his daughter’s feelings and forcing her to do so would be abuse.

Shaun’s mother, Judy Mclaughlin feels that Emma’s father didn’t fully understand the terms of the original agreement because he wasn’t properly represented by an interpreter in court.

“His attorney didn’t have an interpreter for him to converse with him and was relying on me,” said Judy Mclaughlin. ” He didn’t know that was illegal and against the rules at the time.”

Regardless of whether those allegations that Shaun’s rights weren’t fully met in court last summer are true, he still has to face this current claim of contempt when it goes to trial on May 13th.

3 Comments to Man faces contempt of court for not forcing daughter to wear ear implants

  1. Ray S Parks Jr
    May 7, 2010 at 3:18 PM |

    What has been amazingly stunning me is that the general population (that is, hearing people clueless of the true meaning of being deaf) continues to be very ignorant of the fact that being deaf does NOT mean that one would be isolated. Being deaf has nothing to do with the lack of verbal and social skills as I as a proudly deaf person myself have been witnessing high levels of verbal/social skills among hearing people. It is INHUMANE to coerce deaf children to undertake operations for the sake of hearing alone when hearing peope have always thought that deaf people would hear what people say after being implanted with cochlear implants. The fact is that deaf children with newly-implanted CI would only hear noises, not comprehensible pronounciations made by hearing people who may think they are finally able to talk to those deaf children. I can bet that deaf people with CI continue to figure what hearing people are yakking about. Implating CI’s in deaf children’s middle ears is not a salvation, for they only lead to greater isolation. Deaf people are humans; they need to make their own choices. Problems will continue as long as hearing people do not know what they need to know and learn.
    I am sure that God in heaven is shaking His Head, ruing for hearing people for their small heads that always result in continuing ignorance.

  2. JC Cody
    May 8, 2010 at 11:36 PM |

    That’s proved the court and Jennifer Miller are the members of Nazi under AG Bell Association of the HH. Sigh!

  3. jrm
    May 12, 2010 at 10:38 AM |

    What gets me is the mom, Jennifer Miller knew her ex-husband didn’t have an interpreter when they went to court. So, why pursue the case if you KNEW that he didn’t understand what the process was ?? I, too am a CI user and I too, feel there are days that I just want to be “turned off”. Since Emma already has one CI, and I do know the importance of using both ears. I feel that is was uncalled for to bring this issue to court that perhaps could have been solved by communicating with each other. I assume Emma spends more time with Mom and uses both CI’s that a few hours or days she spends w/Dad isn’t going to have an enormous impact on her CI usage. So, come on Mom, stop the embarrassment to your family, save money and court time for something more important. Your just using this for your own benefit !!

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