Dr. Death Dies, Jack Kevorkian 1928 – 2011

by J-Stacknik

Dr. Jack Kevorkian told the Detroit News: "No, remember I did not advocate assisted suicide, I only advocated that a person should have the right to have an option if he or she, in sound mind, needed and desired it while in irremedial pain and suffering and terminal."

Dr. Death has died. When you read that statement it almost seems surreal. Dr. Jack Kevorkian, was also known as Dr. Death, died June 3, 2011 at the age of 83. He was given this moniker because he claimed to have helped 130 people commit suicide when they were terminally ill and wanted to end their own lives.

Kevorkian was a doctor of pathology, who became an advocate for assisted suicide. He started a national debate in the 1990s, in the United States, over the issue of assisted suicide. He built a suicide machine, known as the Mercitron or Thanatron, which he operated out of his Volkswagen van to inject a lethal drug for people who wanted to end their lives due to terminal illness. He compared himself to Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi while the American Medical Association called him “a reckless instrument of death” who posed a great threat to the public.

He managed to evade being stopped for over ten years. There were four trials resulting in three acquittals and one mistrial. What sealed his fate was that he decided to record one of the injections on national television. He was charged, and this time during the trial judge Jessica Cooper said to Kevorkian “You had the audacity to go on national television, show the world what you did and dare the legal system to stop you, well, sir, consider yourself stopped”. Kevorkian was sentenced to 10 to 25 years in jail, and served eight years.

In a New York Times interview Kevorkian said “My ultimate aim is to make euthanasia a positive experience. I’m trying to knock the medical profession into accepting its responsibilities, and those responsibilities include assisting their patients with death.”

Kevorkian’s life story became the subject of an HBO movie , You Don’t Know Jack, Al Pacino played Jack and the role won him an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award. Pacino payed tribute to Kevorkian in his acceptance speech at the Emmy’s saying Kevorkian was “brilliant, interesting and unique”. “You’re all right Jack” Pacino said as Jack sat in the audience smiling.

Jack Kevorkian was buried in White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery Troy, Michigan.

Read more:

‘Dr Death’ Jack Kevorkian, advocate of assisted suicide, dies in hospital | The Guardian

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