Kevorkian Says He Wouldn't Choose Assisted Suicide For
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 13, 2006
COLDWATER, MICHIGAN--Even though he admittedly helped at least 130 people to take their own lives, Jack Kevorkian says he would not choose that option if it were made available to him.
"Remember that I did not advocate assisted suicide," Kevorkian, 78, wrote in response to a list of questions sent him by The Detroit News. "I only advocated that a person should have the right to have the option if he or she, in sound mind, needed and desired it while in irremedial pain and suffering and terminal."
The assisted suicide crusader's responses were published Thursday, just a few weeks after the Michigan Parole Board refused -- for the fourth time in four years -- to grant the famous "Dr. Death" an early release. Kevorkian's attorney claimed that his client's medical condition has deteriorated to the point that he likely will not survive to serve until his first scheduled parole hearing next June.
"He has stated he wasn't going to live in every (past) request," said Russ Marlan, a Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman.
In May, Kevorkian reportedly said that he now realizes he chose the wrong tactics in pushing for legalizing assisted suicide, and that he instead should have lobbied "verbally".
Kevorkian was convicted in March 1999 of second-degree murder after inducing the death of Thomas Youk, a man who had amyotropic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Kevorkian's conviction came after replaying Youk's videotaped death on the "60 Minutes" CBS television news magazine. He was sentenced to a 10 to 25 years in prison.
Many disability rights advocates have long opposed Kevorkian and his crusade to legalize assisted suicide. They have argued that doing so would essentially make it "open season" for people with disabilities who are often considered a "burden" on society -- particularly at a time when the cost of health care soars. They have noted that many people Kevorkian helped end their lives were not in the final stages of terminal illnesses, but instead had disabilities and were in emotional, psychological or social crises, which made them more vulnerable.
"Dying Kevorkian wouldn't pick suicide" (Detroit News)
"Kevorkian says he wouldn't choose suicide" (Associated Press)
"Doesn't Jack believe in his own medicine?" (Inclusion Daily Express Weblog)
"Jack Kevorkian: Dr. Death" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)