Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Now everybody will want one

We've been reading a lot lately about Guidant corporation and its problems with defective defibrillators, but here's a medical device failure you don't hear about every day:

By Ray Henry, Associated Press Writer | June 23, 2006

PROVIDENCE, R.I. --A former handyman has won more than $400,000 in a lawsuit over a penile implant that has given him a 10-year erection. Charles "Chick" Lennon, 68, received the steel and plastic implant in 1996, about two years before the impotence drug Viagra went on the market. The Dura-II is designed to allow impotent men to position the penis upward for sex, then lower it.

But Lennon can't position his penis downward. He can no longer hug people, ride a bike, swim or wear bathing trunks because of the pain and embarrassment, and wears a fanny pack across his front to hide his condition. He has become a recluse and is uncomfortable being around his grandchildren, his lawyer said.

It seems to me he could solve, or at least ameliorate the problem with a dance belt or some such apparatus, but perhaps in this case, proud Peter will not assume the full upright and locked position. It isn't funny! Okay?

If this tragic tale holds any wider lesson, it is that like Icarus, Victor Frankenstein, or Pamela Anderson, Chick Lennon has paid the awful price for trying to improve on nature. (Come to think of it, has Pamela Anderson paid any price?)


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