Medicine: Stilling the Artificial Beat

After 620 days, Jarvik-7 Recipient William Schroeder succumbs

Shortly after he received an artificial heart in 1984, William Schroeder was euphoric. "I feel like I've got ten years left right now," he exulted. But that was not to be. Last week at Humana Hospital Audubon in Louisville, the former Government quality-control inspector, who was 54, suffered a massive stroke. Tuesday morning he was discovered unconscious with labored breathing; 30 hours later his breathing had stopped for good. With Schroeder's family gathered round, doctors pronounced him dead, but there remained a last grim task: to turn off the pneumatically driven device that had kept him alive for 20 months. Surgeon...

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