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opts to keep child deaf
by GEORGE MADDUX
Duchoeny, a deaf child from Chomedey, Laval has been dreaming of getting a
cochlear implant to help him hear. But not all dreams come true, as a doctor
for the Régie de l'assurance maladie has deemed him too old and
proficient in sign language to be eligible for the procedure.
"In June, an expert from the NYU Medical Centre said that Ryan would
derive benefit from the implant," says Frank Duchoeny, Ryan's father.
"The Toronto Hospital for Sick Children also said he'd benefit but they
said they couldn't do the operation unless Quebec agrees to pay for it."
Duchoeny argues that his son actually fits the RAMQ's criteria for eligibility for
the hearing device, which he cites as: "Profound sensatory neural loss;
aged 18 months or older; receives no use from hearing aids; no medical
contradictions and high motivation and normal expectations." Each year,
the RAMQ pays for 40 of the $35,000 procedures. Sixty approved candidates are
currently on the 18-month waiting list, while another 60 potential candidates
are waiting to be evaluated for eligibility.
"It's all a matter of money. They don't want to increase the
budget," says the senior Duchoeny. "[Provincial Health Minister
Pauline] Marois could pay for lots of implants with what she spent on her
silent toilets. I have plenty of literature showing older kids benefit from
this operation." A petition to support Ryan's cause can be signed at http://www.duchoeny.com
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