May 3, 2012: bypassing the parliamentary debate, the government imposes its decision through a ministerial decree establishing newborn screening for deafness.

For over a year, the project of setting up ultra early detection of deafness faces much opposition. An unexpected decision puts an end to the ongoing debate.


The opponents of screening ultra early highlight:

* psychological risks resulting from the announcement of a possible hearing impairment before the release of motherhood stunning, anxiety, difficulty in establishing the mother / child bond;
* the futility of taking this risk because the true diagnosis can be made only a few weeks or months later and the medical or educational solutions have no impact in this first age;
* the idea that a screening at the age of three months would be more reasonable;
* the need to make the screening conditions: in particular, a rigorous information on families educational needs of deaf children, beyond logic alone medical equipment or cochlear implant.



Unable to rely on the legitimacy of democratically enacted a legislative decision, the government has opted for a new short-circuiting, based on the executive. The order retains only one condition to be taken into account when testing the “information holders of parental authority, if any, of the various modes of communication networks, in particular the French sign language” .”Where appropriate” weakens considerably the scope. How does one decide the need for this information? The only mention of French Sign Language (LSF) is in a subordinate position any other mode of communication, including the French language spoken completed (LPC), an optional type information very. The necessary reflection of the parents will be focused and therefore manipulable two axes exclusive or complementary equipment / installation and / or LSF.

Side red associations

Whatever the position of users (who wish to put under various conditions of testing, pro or anti establishment, hoping to promote information on the RSA or the LPC), the forced passage of a text without precautions can that be misunderstood.

The first reactions are significant:

The associations Unisda denounce the Government’s approach to try to achieve at all costs early detection of deafness, between the two rounds of presidential elections (May 6, 2012 press release).”Bad news. Government has issued a decree allowing the early detection of deafness. Coward the process is At the moment everyone is waiting to know what will be the new president, Xavier Bertrand sign off this sweet” ( Association Two hands to hear).


Officially, early detection has a goal of equalization of opportunities. Access to language and educational solutions tailored effect is most effective when it is not long too. This early should also allow for better profitability in the area of ​​public expenditure for the education of deaf children. But some also speak of lobbying. In an official statement, the PS denounced “the desire to promote cochlear implants by surgery in the first months of life.” During the debates in the Assembly, the PS deputy Simon Renucci recalled that “early detection should not be the sole purpose of hastening cochlear implantation” (Lea Benet, The Express , September 2011).