Perhaps the formation of cultures is an adaptive measure to enable survival of certain communities with different abilities. Right now, opposition to technologies such as the cochlear implant may find success owing to the implant’s own technological inconsistencies. While Michael may have found "Bolero" at long last, Frank is yet to find audio reception of such fidelity with his own implant. This is the tale with every new technology. Cochlear implant technology is less than a 100 years old. It is important to receive extensive feedback from the millions of patients who are given these cochlear implants every day. Opposition will reduce such useful feedback. Even more challenging is minimizing the loss of any residual hearing ability left after the implant. We are still far from technology that allows to switch between cochlear implant and the biological ear at the turn of a dial. Nanotechnology and stem cell research offers such promises and soon it may completely possible to rebuild the neural connections that were previously absent or deficient. Current research into contour cochlear implants strive to preserve residual hearing.
The polar opposite of Deaf Culture's reluctance to embrace cochlear implants is that new breed of philosophy, Transhumanism. Transhumanism by itself can be seen as a cultural movement where people would like to utilize advanced technology to radically normalize, enhance or substitute their biological bodies in an ethical manner. If you had the ability to uplift the human condition via technology, then why not? Bionic ears, eyes, nose, all the five senses and perhaps even more disabled senses could be awakened through technology. People should have the right to modify their bodies to interact with society in the manner they choose. Transhumanism goes several steps further, sometimes in ways that are too political. However, this is inevitable in the pursuit of any method to improve the way which we live. Fore example, transhumanists could advocate the right to re-modify the genetic makeup of children before they are born to suit the requirements of say, a particular community. On the favorable side, we could say that the child’s genetic modification is to protect the child from a lifetime struggle against disease or disability. However, since the yet unborn child is not consulted and a host of other inconsistencies exist regarding the issues of informed consent, these genetic therapies still lie on the border between hardcore transhumanism and more established bioethics. We require radical philosophies such as transhumanism to actually address the ethical issues that creep up on us as new technologies emerge. Cochlear implant technologies are becoming commonplace and the recipients of this technology are facing challenges in a society that has been so far designed without reservations for such issues. Counseling is a time honored technique to acquire informed consent. Most societies do not have the money to do this sort of commitment. Sweden has a well established system to monitor pre- and post-operative procedures for recipients of Cochlear technologies. However, unlike a large portion of the world, Sweden can afford to spend on such resources.