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David & Gwen Coffin djcoffin at LINKNET.NET
Fri Aug 11 09:45:28 EST 1995

I had a new-born come in for an ABR this morning.  This child was placed at 
risk for hearing loss due to a reported family history.  Reportedly, the 
mother has a loss.  The mother could not tell me much other than she has had 
problems since childhood, but did not wear a hearing aid until last year (at 
age 19.)  She told me who fit her and it was a less than reputable person in 
our area.  Out of curiosity, I did a quick audio on her.  She was all over 
the place.  SRTs were below 15 dB, and her thresholds were inconsistently at 
around 40 dB, but I did manage to get each one down to about 10 dB, once or 
twice.  I have a feeling that she is receiving disability money for this.  

OK, here is the dilemma.  What do I do?  I would love to call the office of 
Disability Determinations and advise them of the situation.  But, my 
colleague feels that doing so would open us up to a lawsuit.  I feel that I 
am ethically obligated to follow this through if she is wrongfully getting 
government money.  I need opinions.  Also, if we are risking a lawsuit, on 
what grounds?

Any and all replies would be greatly appreciated!
David J. Coffin, M.A., CCC-A
Center for Audiology
Alexandria, LA

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