Medicine: The Ultimate Recall

Ever since Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader first forced them to recognize their responsibilities for their products, manufacturers have regularly recalled such items as automobiles and television sets found to be dangerous or defective. Now General Electric has issued what may well be the ultimate recall: 487 heart pacemakers, almost all of them in the chests of patients.

The device is a relatively recent innovation. Most pacemakers, implanted in the chest muscles under the collarbone, send out electric impulses that actually set the heartbeat rate. But G.E.'s $850 standby, or demand, unit is designed...

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