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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Perhaps he should just off himself 

From ABC:

Jack Kevorkian, the euthanasia crusader who claims to have assisted in more than 130 suicides, now says he should have instead concentrated his efforts on working to pass legislation allowing doctors to help terminally ill patients end their lives....

Kevorkian's proclaimed change of heart comes just as he is asking Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to commute his second-degree murder conviction and release him after seven years in prison.

Earlier this month, for the fourth consecutive year, the Michigan Parole Board rejected Kevorkian's request for parole on the medical grounds that he suffers from hepatitis and diabetes.

According to his attorney, Mayer Morganroth, the 78-year-old Kevorkian is "a dying man" who has withered away to 113 pounds. Kevorkian was convicted in April 1999 of killing Thomas Youk, a 52-year-old man with Lou Gehrig's disease whose death was videotaped and broadcast on the CBS program "60 Minutes." He was sentenced to 10 to 25 years in prison....

Here's what Dr. Roy says:

I am not a believer in euthanasia or assisted suicide. Most of the people who seek thee things should be shown love and compassion. They need relief of pain and symptoms.

The Dutch experience shows that the most vulnerable in society will also be at risk with such plans. As a physician I believe in not providing advanced care if there is no hope for survival after dicussion with patient and family. I might withdraw therapy, but I would never use drugs or anything else to hasten death. The semantics are important.

Jack Kevorkian sickens me. His antics were appalling and he killed people that could have been helped....

Here's part of a Jack Lessenberry essay about Kevorkian:

The key to his personality came out when Mike Wallace interviewed him on 60 Minutes, during the episode in which his famous videotaped euthanasia was shown. Wallace mentioned that some people thought of Kevorkian as a fanatic. Kevorkian immediately corrected him. “No, zealot,” he said. “I’m a zealot.” But he added, “Sure, you try and take a liberty away and I turn fanatic.” There was, certainly, nothing moderate about him. Once I got to know him, I realized that he mostly wasn’t a doctor at all, though he had a medical degree. He was a scientist and a scholar whose fascination was death....

[S]cience can keep people technically alive for long periods even when their bodies are so ruined that their lives have lost any sweetness. Forcing such people to exist in a state of pure torture didn’t make any sense to Kevorkian. One day he invented a bizarre machine to enable them to painlessly commit suicide. That was the beginning of what he hoped would be a social movement, but which turned into a media frenzy....

When he went to prison, he was reading a biography of John Brown, the fanatic whose seizure of Harper’s Ferry, and subsequent hanging, helped speed up the coming of the Civil War. Not surprisingly, Jack Kevorkian admired John Brown. They seemed an awful lot like two peas in a pod, except that Brown had a wife and kids. Kevorkian was a lifelong bachelor. “I can only take these risks because I don’t have any hostages to fortune,” meaning a family.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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