I am disappointed to hear about this. Granted, one of the strengths of this character is his humanity and mortality; one of the weaknesses has been the desire to preserve this character despite the injury (cf. Knightfall sequence).
The follow up question is simple: what does this do to the franchise on film? Further, who is going to be the new Batman in the comics? I would stand in as a model but I am too busy right now...and I need to do more pull-ups.