Jerry Silver wants to live. Propped up against his pillows, his breath rasping across his swollen belly, he makes his point once again for the doctor sitting on the side of his bed.
"You mean," he says, "that suppose I get even sicker and go into a coma and have to be put on a respirator, do I want that? You mean that suppose my heart stops and they have to shock me and beat on me to start it again, do I want that?"
The doctor nods, wearily.
"Of course I do," says Jerry. "Suppose they find a cure, tomorrow. I want to be here."
They've gone over this ground 20 times in the last three weeks, as Jerry grows weaker and the chances he ever leaves the hospital grow more and more remote. Seven years ago, during the surgery that saved his life after his heart attack, Jerry