Auditory nerve damage can occur from any of a significant number of serious diseases, or can simply be passed down from father or mother to son or daughter. Deafness, in any case, results in the formation of a fascinating social anomaly, one in which one person may not even exist on the same level of perception as another person. So the social connections that would be made in a normal fashion are taken off of the table immediately. Other routes must be taken in order to form relationships and communicate. This of course resulted in the formation of sign language, which ended up enabling those that are deaf to form communities and family units. With the formation of these communities and family units comes a culture.
If a baby is born without hearing, a doctor can safely give said baby a cochlear implant as early as fourteen months, which will allow the baby to progress through learning language and social interactions as normally as a baby who was born with hearing.
In the article ‘Some Ethical Dimensions of Cochlear Implantation for Deaf Children and Their Familes’, Merv Hyde and Des Power of Griffith University, Hyde and Power Explore the idea that suddenly gifting hearing back into a prelingual child disrupts the formation of that unique familial culture and that deafness is not just seen as a disease, but as a way of life. This dilemma tends to not occur in hearing families that have had a deaf baby, but creates a problem in partially or fully deaf families when the option to have the insertion done presents itself through a doctor or some other medium. The moral dilemma lies in whether denying the baby hearing is objectively wrong, or if denying the baby hearing is simply choosing for the baby to grow into a unique part of human society.