Tuesday, 28 April 2009

From "Ethics in Sign Language Interpreting"

By Granville Tate and Graham H. Turner.

Baby scenario

You are interpreting with a Deaf mother-to-be when she goes for a scan. You know that she doesn't want to know the sex ofher baby, but the gynaecologist suddenly comes out with the information that it's a boy! What do you do, and why?

Of the respondents to this question, approximately 77% stated that they would make some kind of non-mechanistic intervention, while some 23% felt that they would not.

Here are two examples of responses from the first group. The first example is representative of the vast majority of responses:

"I think I would tell her that the doctor has just said the sex but 'you don't want to know, right?' (also explain what I said to the doctor). It's difficult 'cos if hearing the slip would have been heard."
"Don't tell the mum, but explain to the doctor that you are not going to tell her."

Now two examples of replies from the second group:

"Interpret the info., i.e., do the job."
"I would sign 'it's a boy' because (i) the mother should have made it clear that she did not want to know or (ii) if she had made that clear and the Dr. forgot then a hearing person would have heard and by my signing it the deaf woman would be equal to a hearing woman."


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