Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Pacemaker Wrecks a Family's Life -

A Pacemaker Wrecks a Family's Life - "When bioethicists debate life-extending technologies, the effects on people like my mother rarely enter the calculus. But a 2007 Ohio State University study of the DNA of family caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease showed that the ends of their chromosomes, called telomeres, had degraded enough to reflect a four-to-eight-year shortening of lifespan. By that reckoning, every year that the pacemaker gave my irreparably damaged father took from my then-vigorous mother an equal year."