Dr. Death Dies

Krista - posted on 06/03/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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From CBC:

Assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian, who spent eight years in prison for second-degree murder, died early Friday in a Detroit-area hospital after battling respiratory and renal problems, his lawyer confirmed to CBC News.

[snip]

The Armenian-American pathologist, who claimed to have assisted in 130 suicides, advocated the rights of the terminally ill, famously saying, "Dying is not a crime."

In 1999, Kevorkian, who became known by the nickname Dr. Death, began serving eight years of a 10- to 25-year prison term, and was released in 2007 on the condition he not offer suicide advice.

Despite his controversial preachings, "I think the great majority were in [Kevorkian's] corner, no question about it," Morganroth said. "You always get that percentage that will go for anything and take an antagonistic position. But the very substantial majority ... will mourn his loss.

[snip]

Reacting to Kevorkian's death, Canadian medical ethics expert Udo Schuklenk, a professor at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., said he might disagree with his methods, but there's no question Kevorkian left a legacy in the U.S. on assisted suicide.

He said Kevorkian forced society to examine an issue it would like to sweep under the carpet — death and dying — and that debate translated into the decriminalization of assisted dying in several parts of the U.S.

But Schuklenk also decried Kevorkian's "Wild West attitude" and "appalling" way he helped put people to death in the public spotlight.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/...
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Regardless of anybody's opinion, I think his actions and his statements led to some extremely valuable public dialogue about the right to death and patient dignity. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for jump-starting that conversation.

What are your thoughts? Was Kevorkian a villain or a hero?

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Lady Heather - posted on 06/03/2011

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I am pro-euthanasia for any terminal patient who wants it. Watching my husband's grandmother in her final days...dude. We were all thinking - "Can't we just make it stop?"

Sara - posted on 06/03/2011

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I agree, Krista. And I think anyone who has ever watched a love one suffer from a horrible terminal illness would agree as well. People should be able to die with dignity, and I think he was a good person for bringing that out in the open. People don't generally want to talk about death, I think, but it's an important conversation to have.

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Hero. All the way a hero. Like the article said, it's an issue that would have probably been kept swept under the rug were it not for him.

Katherine - posted on 06/03/2011

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He gave a lot to the term "assisted suicide" for sure. I think that if someone is terminal they have the right to choose and he helped them do that.

The man went down in history. He will ALWAYS be remembered.

Melissa - posted on 06/03/2011

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When I first started learning about Kevorkian years ago, I raised the question of whether or not he was doing this for himself, or whether or not he was doing this for others. Unfortunately I'm not able to find any links explaining his personal reasoning at this point, but years ago I learned that he had a close family member who died a very painful death, and it was then that he decided he didn't want anyone to ever have to go through that again; as the person dying, or as a loved one witnessing their loved ones pain. It's said that he actually tried to talk people out of their decisions several times, and he would not assist if he felt the person was not of sound mind. Some may argue that a person couldn't possibly be of sound mind if they CHOSE death, but it's important to understand that if you're in constant physical pain, every minute of every hour of every day, you're in constant emotional pain, your loved ones cry every time they see you, all you see in pain in their eyes, you know your own end is near. People near death tend to find peace in the idea of leaving their pain behind, of going on to a better, more kind place. Whether we believe in God or Heaven or reincarnation is irrelevant, I think we all believe there is SOMETHING beyond this world, and we fear it now, but when we're close to encountering the inevitable, people have been said to come to terms with their fate. Personally, I wouldn't want my husband, my brothers, my children to see my suffering. I PERSONALLY would not want to suffer. I would want my last days to be the best possible days, full of love, happiness, joy; not pain, sorrow and dread. I praise Kavorkian for his brave, selfless acts. He brought so many to peace and saved so many from so much pain. And people may say "what about human rights? he helped kill people!" But isn't it our right to chose not to endure endless pain? Isn't it our right to chose to fade away in peace as opposed to agony? Keep in mind, it was the patients CHOICE to involve Kavorkian, it was the patients CHOICE to request his assistance. Kavorkian, in my eyes, did no harm, only good. I find it very unfortunate and very sad that he had to spend his last days in jail, and I find it unfortunate that he had to suffer. Respiratory illnesses are painful and difficult. It's sad no one was there to offer HIM some assistance should he have wanted it.

Constance - posted on 06/03/2011

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He was true advocate for all human beings. I have watched the final days of friends and family. I have always wished there was something I could have done for them. I hope that more doctors step up and help the dying. The way he believed and he only assisted the truelly terminal and that is the way it should always be.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/03/2011

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RIP Dr. Kevorkian. You will always be known as Dr Death, but one of these days, assisted suicides will not be vilified thanks to you!

Tasha - posted on 06/03/2011

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I belive his intentions were to end suffering for those whose situations could not get better, i dont belive he was malicious or evil. It is a very touchy subject for many though, i believe maybe religion has something to do with those who really oppose, maybe not. I came from Oregon, and as a teen i saw the assisted suicide(i think the word suicide is what turns many off) measure come up for vote, and repeatedy the voters of Oregon said that they supported it and wanted it to be law, and again and again the federal gov said that if anyone used this means to end someones life you where still a murder. There is a real disconnet between human rights and our gov telling us whats ok. I have been witness to several people close to me, with terminal illnesses, no hope for recovery, suffer. All they wanted was peace, they wanted to die. I belive in chioce and that as humans we should be able to enact whatever means to make us happy, as long as it does not harm anyone else, what is the problem. I know youd hurt loved ones by your passing, but would someone who loves me rather see me suffer, or be without pain, physically, mentally and emotionally, peace is my chioce.

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