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Dr. Jack KEVORKIAN

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 


A.K.A.: "Dr. Death"
 
Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Physician-assisted suicide - Euthanasia
Number of victims: 130 +
Date of murders: 1990 - 1999
Date of birth: May 26, 1928
Victims profile: Men and women (terminal patients)
Method of murder: Poisoning (drugs/carbon monoxide)
Location: Several States, USA
Status: Sentenced to 10-to-25-year prison in Michigan on April 13, 1999. Released on June 1, 2007
 
 
 
 
 
 
photo gallery
 
 
 
 
 
 

Jack Kevorkian (born on May 26, 1928) is a controversial American pathologist. He is most noted for publicly championing a terminal patient's right to die via physician-assisted suicide; he claims to have assisted at least 130 patients to that end. He famously said that "dying is not a crime."

Between 1999 and 2007, Kevorkian served eight years of a 10-to-25-year prison sentence for second-degree murder. He was released on June 1, 2007, on parole due to good behavior.

Biography

Kevorkian was born in Pontiac, Michigan to Armenian-American parents. He graduated from Pontiac Central High School with honors in 1945, at the age of 17. He then enrolled at the University of Michigan Medical School, from which he graduated in 1952.

In the 1980s, Kevorkian wrote a series of articles for the German journal Medicine and Law that laid out his thinking on the ethics of euthanasia.

Kevorkian started advertising in Detroit newspapers in 1987 as a physician consultant for "death counseling." In 1991 the State of Michigan revoked Jack Kevorkian's medical license and made it clear that given his actions, he was no longer permitted to practice medicine or to work with patients.

Between 1990 and 1998, Kevorkian assisted in the deaths of nearly one hundred terminally ill people, according to his lawyer Geoffrey Fieger. His son, Zachary Kevorkian, had this to say about his father: "I don't like to think of him as the 'Doctor of Death', I think of him as a liberator."

In each of the above mentioned cases, the individuals themselves allegedly took the final action which resulted in their own deaths. Kevorkian allegedly assisted only by attaching the individual to a device that he had made. The individual then pushed a button which released the drugs or chemicals that would end his or her own life.

Two deaths were assisted by means of a device which delivered the euthanizing drugs mechanically through an IV. Kevorkian called it a "Thanatron" (death machine). Other people were assisted by a device which employed a gas mask fed by a canister of carbon monoxide which was called "Mercitron" (mercy machine). This became necessary because Kevorkian's medical license had been revoked after the first two deaths, and he could no longer have legal access to the substances required for the "Thanatron".

Trials

Kevorkian was tried numerous times over the years for assisting in suicides. Many of these trials took place in Oakland County, Michigan. In every instance prior to the Thomas Youk case (see below), Kevorkian was beginning to gain some public support for his cause, as is evidenced by the defeat of Oakland County prosecutor Richard Thompson to David Gorcyca in the Republican primary. The result of the political election was attributed, in part, to the declining public support for the prosecution of Kevorkian and its associated legal expenses.

Kevorkian also demonstrated a flair for dramatic publicity stunts at this time, showing up at one trial in a powdered wig. He protested an incarceration pursuant to another trial by staging a hunger strike and wore a placard challenging the Oakland County prosecutor to bring him to trial for the death of Youk.

Conviction and imprisonment

On the November 23, 1998 broadcast of 60 Minutes, Kevorkian allowed the airing of a videotape he had made on September 17, 1998, which depicted the voluntary euthanasia of Thomas Youk, 52, an adult male with full decisional capacity who was in the final stages of ALS. After Youk provided his fully-informed consent on September 17, 1998, Kevorkian himself administered a lethal injection. This was novel, as all of his earlier clients had reportedly completed the process themselves.

During the videotape, Kevorkian dared the authorities to try to convict him or stop him from carrying out assisted suicides. This incited the district attorney to bring murder charges against Kevorkian, claiming he had single-handedly caused the death.

On March 26, 1999, Kevorkian was charged with second-degree homicide and the delivery of a controlled substance (administering a lethal injection to Thomas Youk). Kevorkian's license to practice medicine had been revoked eight years previously; thus he was not legally allowed to possess the controlled substance. As homicide law is relatively fixed and routine, this trial was markedly different from earlier ones that involved an area of law in flux (assisted suicide).

Kevorkian, however, discharged his attorneys and proceeded through the trial pro se (representing himself). The judge ordered a criminal defense attorney to remain available at trial for information and advice. Inexperienced in law and persisting in his efforts to appear pro se, Kevorkian encountered great difficulty in presenting his evidence and arguments.

The Michigan jury found Kevorkian guilty of second-degree homicide. It was proven that he had directly killed a person because Thomas Youk was not physically able to kill himself.

The judge sentenced Kevorkian to serve a 10-25 year prison sentence and told him: "You were on bond to another judge when you committed this offense, you were not licensed to practice medicine when you committed this offense and you hadn't been licensed for eight years. And 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 sent to prison in Coldwater, Michigan.

In the course of the various proceedings, Kevorkian made statements under oath and to the press that he considered it his duty to assist persons in their death. He also indicated under oath that because he thought laws to the contrary were archaic and unjust, he would persist in civil disobedience, even under threat of criminal punishment. Future intent to commit crimes is an element parole boards may consider in deciding whether to grant a convicted person relief. After his conviction (and subsequent losses on appeal) Kevorkian was denied parole repeatedly.

In an MSNBC interview aired on September 29, 2005, Kevorkian said that if he were granted parole, he would not resume directly helping people die and would restrict himself to campaigning to have the law changed. On December 22, 2005, Kevorkian was denied parole by a board on the count of 7-2 recommending not to give parole.

Terminally ill with Hepatitis C, which he contracted while doing research on blood transfusions in Vietnam, Kevorkian was expected to die within a year in May 2006. After applying for a pardon, parole, or commutation by the parole board and Governor Jennifer Granholm, he was paroled on June 1, 2007 due to good behavior.

"Kevorkian will be on parole for two years, and one of the conditions he must meet is that he cannot help anyone else die. He is also prohibited from providing care for anyone who is older than 62 or is disabled. He could go back to prison if he violates his parole."

Kevorkian said he would abstain from assisting any more terminal patients with death, and his role in the matter would strictly be to persuade states to change their laws on assisted suicide.

On June 4, 2007, Kevorkian appeared on CNN's Larry King Live to discuss his time in prison and his future plans. At the time of Kevorkian's release, the only state in the United States that had legalized doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill people was Oregon.

Activities after his release from prison

On January 15, 2008, Kevorkian gave his largest public lecture since his release from prison, speaking to a crowd of 4,867 people at the University of Florida. The St. Petersburg Times reported that Kevorkian expressed a desire for assisted suicide to be "a medical service" for willing patients. "My aim in helping the patient was not to cause death," the paper quoted him as saying. "My aim was to end suffering. It's got to be decriminalized."

Run for Congress

On March 12, 2008, Kevorkian announced plans to run for congress in Michigan's 9th Congressional District against long term congressman Joe Knollenberg (R-Bloomfield Hills) and Central Michigan University Professor Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township). He will run as an independent.

 
 

Americas Profile: "Dr. Death"

26 November 1998

Dr Jack Kevorkian, a 70-year-old retired pathologist, has devoted most of his life to the campaign for assisted suicide.

He was born in 1928 in Pontiac, Michigan, to a family of Armenian immigrants.

He embarked on a career in pathology, gaining the nickname "Dr Death" in the 1950s through his efforts to photograph the eyes of dying patients.

Dr Kevorkian became the chief pathologist of Saratoga General Hospital in Detroit in 1970, but he quit his career a few years later, travelled to California, and invested his life savings in directing and producing a feature movie based on Handel's Messiah.

With no distributor, the movie flopped.

He started writing about euthanasia in the 1980s, first in an obscure German journal Medicine and Law, outlining for example his proposed system of planned deaths in suicide clinics, including medical experimentation on patients.

'Suicide machine'

Dr Kevorkian has admitted helping more than 130 people to end their lives.

The first suicide he was involved in was the 1990 death of Jane Adkins, 54, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. She died in Dr Kevorkian's Volkswagen van in Groveland Oaks Park near Holly, Michigan.

Her death was assisted by a "suicide machine" - built by Dr Kevorkian using $30 worth of scrap parts from garage sales and hardware stores at his kitchen table.

Six months later a murder charge against Dr Kevorkian was dismissed - the ruling has never been appealed.

Since then, Dr Kevorkian has been aquitted in two more trials involving four other deaths.

In 1995, he even opened a "suicide clinic" in a office in Springfield Township, Michigan, but was booted out by the building's owner a few days after his first client died.

Support from colleagues

Dr Kevorkian has been supported by other doctors. In, 1995, a group of doctors and other medical experts in Michigan announced they will draw up a set of guiding principles for the "merciful, dignified, medically-assisted termination of life."

A 1995 study of doctors' attitudes on assisted suicide in the states of Oregon and Michigan has demonstrated that a large number of physicians surveyed support doctor-assisted suicide, in some conditions.

 
 

Kevorkian sentenced to 10 to 25 years for murder

PONTIAC, Mich. (Court TV) — A Michigan judge sentenced Dr. Jack Kevorkian to 10 to 25 years in prison for second degree murder and three to seven years for delivery of a controlled substance.

Arguing that Kevorkian had repeatedly vowed to keep assisting terminal patients to die, Oakland County Circuit Judge Jessica Cooper also denied his request to remain free on bail pending appeal.

"I question whether you will ever cease and desist," Cooper said. Saying the case before her was not about the controversy over euthanasia, but rather about Kevorkian's willful disobedience of the law, Judge Cooper refused to deviate from the state's sentencing guidelines.

"This is a court of law," announced Cooper before delivering the sentence. There are ways of challenging laws, she said, however, "You may not take the law into your own hands."

While others were working on a proposition to legalize assisted suicide in Michigan, she said, Kevorkian was with Thomas Youk, conspiring to break the law.

"You invited yourself to the wrong forum," said Cooper, referring to his earlier remark that he forced the issue in order to make his case for euthanasia before the court.

"You had audacity to go on national television, showed the world what you did and dared the legal system to stop you," she added. "Consider yourself stopped." Cooper said the people have had a chance to speak and voted 2-to-1 against assisted suicide in a recent Michigan vote. When he injected Youk with a lethal cocktail of drugs, what he did was "murder," she said.

Prosecutors had argued that Kevorkian should get a minimum of 10 to 25 years because he is a danger to society and has shown contempt for the law. Cooper agreed.

Cooper said Kevorkian "defied" his own profession. She reminded Kevorkian that the state suspended his medical license eight years ago, and therefore, he could not legally administer any drugs to a patient, let alone administer a fatal dose.

Prosecutor John Skrzynski praised the judge, saying her sentencing was a "highly courageous thing to do."

"This is not a special case. He is not a special person. He was accountable to law," Skrzynski said. He added that Kevorkian must serve two-thirds of his term before he is eligible for parole. After three acquittals and one hung jury, Kevorkian was found guilty March 26 of second-degree murder and for his role in the televised death of 52-year-old Thomas Youk.

The defense argued that Kevorkian does not pose a threat to society and was trying to help Youk, not victimize him.

Youk's widow, Melody, asked for leniency for Kevorkian, who she says helped end her husband's suffering. Youk's brother, Terry talked about how Lou Gehrig's disease had affected Thomas.

"My husband was grateful for the doctor's assistance to end his suffering," said Melody, calling Kevorkian's intervention "an act of compassion and courage."

"It was not a crime," said Melody, "and certainly not a murder."

She said her husband wanted to "bring himself to a peaceful transition," and had sought out Dr. Kevorkian to help him end his suffering.

Dr. Kevorkian did not victimize her husband, she added. "Tom chose it," she said, referring to the decision to have Kevorkian inject the drugs, rather than have Youk press a button to release the drugs into his system. Tom had lost control of most of his fingers and believed "success" would be more likely if Kevorkian administered the drugs, said Melody.

She said Youk would be "distressed that the man who brought peace and the end of pain would now have to suffer on his account."

"He was caught in hell," said Terry Youk, referring to his brother's final days. Terry said his lung capacity was reduced and he was choking on his own saliva, and that morphine couldn't help ease the pain.

Kevorkian was the only person with the "courage and fortitude to defy those inadequate and unjust laws," Terry said.

Kevorkian, 70, chose to represent himself during the Youk trial. He called no witnesses after Judge Cooper rejected his motion to admit the pain and suffering testimony of Youk's widow and brother. Kevorkian declined to speak at the sentencing.

Kevorkian has threatened to starve himself to death if imprisoned.

Court TV's Bryan Robinson, Aldina Vazao Kennedy, and Mary Jane Stevenson contributed to this report.

 
 

Jack Kevorkian

Born: 26-May-1928
Birthplace: Pontiac, MI

Gender: Male
Religion: Atheist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Doctor, Activist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Euthanasia enthusiast

Dr. Jack Kevorkian has been known as "Dr. Death" since at least 1956, when he conducted a study photographing patients' eyes as they died. Results established that blood vessels in the cornea contract and become invisible as the heart stops beating. In a 1958 paper, he suggested that death row inmates be euthanized, and their bodily organs harvested. In 1960, he proposed using condemned prisoners for medical experiments.

In 1989, a quadriplegic, too handicapped to kill himself, publicly asked for assistance, and Dr. Kevorkian began tinkering on a suicide machine. But a different patient -- Janet Adkins, a 54-year-old with Alzheimer's -- was the first to test the device. It worked. Kevorkian then provided services to at least 45 and possibly more satisfied customers.

In 1997, however, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Americans who want to kill themselves -- but are physically unable to do so -- have no Constitutional right to end their lives. Kevorkian is now serving 10-25 years in prison, and is reportedly in ill health.

Sister: Flora Holzheimer
Sister: Margo Janus

Medical School: MD, University of Michigan (1952)

 
 

Jack Kevorkian, M.D. (born Pontiac, Michigan, May 20, 1928) is a controversial American pathologist. He is most noted for publicly championing a terminal patient's "right to die" and claims to have assisted at least 130 patients to that end. He is famous for his quotation, "dying is not a crime."

Imprisoned in 1999, he was serving out a 10 to 25 year prison sentence for second-degree murder in the 1998 poisoning of Thomas Youk, 52, of Oakland County, Michigan. He was paroled early in December 2006, due in part to a terminal illness from which he was suffering.

Early career

Kevorkian graduated in 1952 from the University of Michigan medical school, specializing in pathology. In 1970, he became the chief pathologist at Saratoga General Hospital in Detroit.

Early in his medical career, he showed a recurrent interest in the subject of death: In 1956, he published a journal article, "The Fundus Oculi and the Determination of Death", about his attempt to photograph the eyes of patients at the moment of death--a paper that first won him the nickame "Doctor Death".

A paper he presented in December 1958 that advocated consensual experiments on convicts during executions led the University of Michigan to ask him to terminate his residency. A 1961 article in The American Journal of Clinical Pathology described his efforts to transfuse blood from dead bodies into living patients.

Euthanasia

In the 1980s, Kevorkian wrote a series of articles for the German journal Medicine and Law that laid out his thinking on the ethics of euthanasia.

Kevorkian started advertising in Detroit newspapers in 1987 as a physician consultant for "death counseling." Between 1990 and 1998, Kevorkian assisted in the suicide of nearly one hundred terminally ill people, according to his lawyer Geoffrey Fieger. In each of these cases, the individuals themselves took the final action which resulted in their own deaths: voluntary euthanasia.

Dr. Kevorkian allegedly assisted only by attaching the individual to a device that he had made. The individual then pushed a button which released the drugs or chemicals that would end his or her own life. Two deaths were assisted by means of a device which employed a needle and delivered the euthanizing drugs mechanically through an IV.

Kevorkian called it a "Thanatron" (death machine). Other patients were assisted by a device which employed a gas mask fed by a canister of carbon monoxide which was called "Mercitron" (mercy machine). This became necessary because Kevorkian's medical license had been revoked after the first two deaths, and he could no longer get the substances required for "Thanatron".

On the November 23, 1998 broadcast of 60 Minutes, Kevorkian allowed the airing of a videotape he had made on September 17, 1998, which depicted the voluntary euthanasia of Thomas Youk, an adult male with full decisional capacity who was in the final stages of ALS. After Youk provided his fully-informed consent on September 17, 1998, Kevorkian administered a lethal injection.

This was novel to other patients as Kevorkian administered the injection himself as opposed to having Youk complete the process. This incited the district attorney to bring murder charges against him, claiming that Kevorkian single-handedly caused the death. Kevorkian filmed the procedure and the death and submitted it for broadcast on 60 Minutes.

During much of this period, Kevorkian was represented by attorney Geoffrey Fieger.

Conviction and imprisonment

Kevorkian was tried numerous times over the years for assisting in suicides. Many of these trials took place in Oakland County, Michigan. In every instance prior to the Thomas Youk case, Kevorkian was acquitted.

Kevorkian was even beginning to gain some public support for his cause, as is evidenced by the defeat of Oakland County prosecutor Richard Thompson to David Gorcyca in the Republican primary. The result of the political election was attributed, in part, to the declining public support from the prosecution of Kevorkian and its associated legal expenses.

Kevorkian also demonstrated a flair for dramatic publicity stunts at this time, showing up to one trial in a powdered wig and protesting an incarceration pursuant to another trial by staging a hunger strike. He also wore a placard challenging the Oakland County prosecutor to bring him to trial for the death of Youk.

On March 26, 1999, Kevorkian was charged with second-degree homicide and also for the delivery of a controlled substance (administering a lethal injection to Thomas Youk). Unlike the prior trials involving an area of law in flux (assisted suicide), the law of homicide is relatively fixed and routine. Kevorkian, however, discharged his attorneys and proceeded through the trial pro se (representing himself).

The judge ordered a criminal defense attorney to remain available at trial for information and advice. Inexperienced in law and persisting in his efforts to appear pro se, Kevorkian encountered great difficulty in presenting his evidence and arguments.

The Michigan jury found Kevorkian guilty of second-degree homicide. It was proven that he had directly killed a person because his patient was not physically able to kill himself. He was sent to prison in Coldwater, Michigan, to serve a 10-to-25-year sentence.

In the course of the various proceedings, Kevorkian made statements under oath and to the press that he considered it his duty to assist persons in their death. He also indicated under oath that because he thought laws to the contrary were archaic and unjust, he would persist in civil disobedience, even under threat of criminal punishment. Future intent to commit crimes, of course, is an element courts and parole boards may consider in deciding whether to grant a convicted person relief. Since his conviction (and subsequent losses on appeal), Kevorkian has been denied parole repeatedly.

In an MSNBC interview aired on September 29, 2005, Kevorkian said that if he were granted parole, he would not resume directly helping people die and would restrict himself to campaigning to have the law changed. On December 22, 2005, Kevorkian was denied parole by a board on the count of 7-2 recommending not to give parole.

In a recent interview with ABC News, Kevorkian's lawyer stated that Kevorkian was terminally ill with Hepatitis C, which he contracted while doing research on blood transfusions and was expected to pass away within a year. Kevorkian had applied for a pardon, parole, or commutation by the parole board and Governor Jennifer Granholm, and on December 13, 2006 it was announced he would be paroled on June 1, 2007.

Artwork

In the 1960s, Kevorkian enrolled in an adult education oil painting class in Pontiac, Michigan. He combined his understanding of the human anatomy with his fascination with death and created, as author Michael Betzold describes in his book Appointment with Doctor Death, 18 canvases that "are as bold and strident, as critical and unforgiving, as pointed and dramatic as Kevorkian's own fighting words. They are strikingly well-executed, stark and surreal—and frightening, demented and/or hilarious, depending on one's point of view."

Although the 18 original canvases have been lost, Kevorkian returned to his art in the 1990s to finance his crusade for assisted-suicide. His art frequently returns to themes of hypocrisy, pain, war, death, self-destruction, suicide, despair and criticisms of contemporary culture and Christianity.

His paintings were used on the covers of Acid Bath's album Paegan Terrorism Tactics and Knife's album East Los Most Wanted.

In the Late 1970s, Kevorkian quit his job Saratoga General Hospital to produce and direct a film based on Handel's Messiah. He was unable to find a distributor for the film, in which he had invested his life savings.

Kevorkian also released a jazz album entitled A Very Still Life on which he plays the flute.

Cultural references

  • The heavy metal band Body Count, headed by rapper Ice-T, has a song titled "Dr. K". In the song the lyrics exclaim: "You think your life is tough? Call Kevorkian!"

  • Belgian EBM-Project Suicide Commando released a non-album track called "Kevorkian" dealing with suffering and pain.

  • In episode 2.12 of the TV show Scrubs, Dr. Kevorkian is paged during a scene where Dr. Cox and Carla discuss their diminishing relationship.

  • In the 1994 film Naked Gun 33 1/3, Nordberg (O.J. Simpson) suggests Frank (Leslie Nielsen) call Dr. Kevorkian after his wife Jane left him.

  • In episode 1x04 of Monk, Sharona asks "Do you know who asked me out? I'll give you a hint.... He's a doctor", to which Monk replies "Kevorkian?"

  • In episode 50 of Neurotically Yours, Pilz-E confuses a tool (an automatic blood pressure monitor) for a Kevorkian scarf.

  • In one episode of the 1994 TV series The Critic, Duke Phillips is diagnosed with a terminal disease and decides to commit suicide with the help of "Dr. Krekorian". Jay Sherman eventually convinces Duke not to kill himself, to which "Krekorian" laments: "I've never lost a patient before."

  • In the Married With Children episode "Love Conquers Al", after hearing of the Jeffersons' visit to a marriage counselor, Peggy suggests to Al that maybe this doctor might help their marriage, to which Al comments, "No, Peg, the only doctor that can do that is named Kevorkian." [4].

  • American comedian Stephen Lynch's song "Grandfather", from his second album, Superhero, references Kevorkian. The song is about wishing his grandfather will pass away so he can inherit his riches. The line goes, "Oh grandfather die, before the fiscal year. Oh grandfather I/ wish Kevorkian were here."

  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Grampa Simpson is depressed and sees a doctor about it. The doctor (Dr. Egoyan, like Kevorkian) suggests assisted suicide and hooks Grandpa up to the "DiePod", a spoof of the iPod.

  • In an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the family is in a hospital after Uncle Phil has a heart attack. The doctor that talks to the family introduces himself as Dr. Kevarkian, to which the family reacts in shock. The doctor then informs them of the difference in spelling from "Kevorkian".

  • On the "Weekend Update" segment of an episode of Saturday Night Live, Norm MacDonald mocked Dr. Kevorkian's decision to obtain a handgun license and purchase a pistol (for self-defensive purposes) saying "Alright, now he's just getting lazy."

  • The industrial act Grid changed their name to Kevorkian Death Cycle as a statement of support to Kevorkian's cause.

  • A recording name used by New Zealand singer-songwriter Jordan Reyne is "Dr Kevorkian & the Suicide Machine".

  • In one episode of That's My Bush, President Bush helps Kevorkian break out of jail to assist in the killing of his 24-year-old cat.

  • In the spoof film Wrongfully Accused, Dr. Kevorkian's name is paged over the intercom during a scene in a hospital.

  • In "A Hard Day's Night", the pilot episode of TV show Grey's Anatomy, Meredith says, "If I hadn't taken the Hippocratic Oath, I would Kevorkian her with my bare hands".

  • In the Grey's Anatomy Owner of a Lonely Heart, George refers to Dr. Karev as Dr. Karevian (a spin off of Kevorkian) since he had accidentally killed a patient.

  • In the anime series Power Dolls, the self-destruct system of the Power Loaders (mecha in the game) is named "Kevorkian Mode".

  • In the South Park episode "Death", Kyle tells Stan about Jack Kevorkian (calls him Jack Laborkian in the episode) and that it's all right to euthanize people. (Stan is deciding if he should assist in his grandfather's suicide.) In the episode "Quintuplets 2000", a protester turns pages on his sign, one of which reads "Free Kevorkian".

  • In Mystery Science Theater 3000, in the episode "Space Mutiny", upon the sight of an old man, "It's Kevorkian!" is shouted.

  • In the computer game Blood, typing "Kevorkian" into the console kills Caleb (the player character).

  • In one episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Detective John Munch comments, "when the old steel trap starts to rust, it's time to call Kevorkian" while investigating the case of a senile woman.

  • In the episode "The Suicide" in the TV series Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld asks, "How long do you have to wait for a guy to come out of a coma before you ask his ex-girlfriend out?". Kramer replies, "What, Gina? Why wait, why not just call Dr. Kevorkian". Jerry replies, "You know I don't get that whole 'suicide machine', there's no tall buildings where these people live?"

  • Dr. Kevorkian's Chamber of Torture is a band in Savannah, GA.

  • In his record Xorcist, on the track "Liqour, Niggas & Triggas", artist X-raided mentions various mass suicides, and says, "Let me play that Jack Kevorkian, I'm Dr. Death, assisting a suicide."

  • In one instance in the comic strip The Far Side, the Grim Reaper is sitting in a movie theatre when he spots Dr. Jack Kevorkian sitting with his girlfriend and the reaper can't remember Kevorkian's name.

  • In the parody film Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth, the school nurse is named Kevorkian.

  • In a Freestyle rap, artist Eminem says, "Dr. Kevorkian has arrived to perform an Autopsy on you when you scream "I'm still alive!""

  • In a Dilbert cartoon, Asok the Intern asks for "the home number of Dr. Kevorkian" after the Pointy-Haired Boss gives him a discouraging "pep talk".

  • Public Enemy featured a song tiled "Kevorkian" on their album There's a Poison Goin' On.

  • In the children's television show Rugrats, the character Grandpa Boris takes out his cell phone, dials a number, and says "Hello, Dr. Kevorkian" during an especially boring session of family photo slide shows.

  • Kurt Vonnegut's book God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian, published in 1999, is a direct reference. In the book, Dr. Kevorkian assists Vonnegut's character in having near-death experiences which allow him to interview a series of dead historical figures.

  • ECW wrestler Mick Foley once claimed that he was Kevorkian's favourite wrestler, as shown in a clip from The Rise and Fall of ECW DVD.

  • Canadian extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad featured a song titled "Velvet Kevorkian" on their album City.

  • Anal Cunt's album I Like It When You Die includes a song called "Jack Kevorkian Is Cool".

  • The late Richard Jeni included jokes about Kevorkian in a segment of his stand up comedy special "A Big Steaming Pile of Me"; containing jokes about suicide and the Dr.'s views. Ironically, on March 10th 2007, Jeni reportedly took his own life (with a gunshot wound to the facial area).

  • The band The Suicide Machines originally performed under the name "Jack Kevorkian & The Suicide Machines" and also released a cassette entitled "Essential Kevorkian".

  • In the computer game Deus Ex, Paul Denton gets an email in which a company called KVORK Inc. induces him to to "make that decision which is ultimately the only real choice we ever have: the decision to die." KVORK Inc. argues: "Some may describe this as an act of selfishness, but with the dwindling reserves of natural resources throughout the world you're actually contributing to the well-being of all those around you."

  • The Band Chemical Zoo has a song entitled "Dr. Death"; in the beginning you can hear a nurse say, "Dr. Kevorkian, Please Report to the ICU."

  • In his song "Favor for a Favor", Nas says "I'm twisted like Dr. Death/Kevorkian"

  • The Heavy Metal band Anvil produced a song called "Doctor Kevorkian" on their 1996 album Plugged in Permanent.

  • In Issue #60 of Marvel's Ultimate X-Men, a paralysed Yuriko Oyama says to a doctor "unless your name is Kevorkian, I'm done talking to Doctors."

References

  • Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying by Derek Humphry. ISBN 0-385-33653-5.

  • Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide (For and Against) by Gerald Dworkin, R. G. Frey (Series Editor), Sissela Bok, 1998: ISBN 0-521-58789-1.

  • Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Anatomy of a Constitutional Law Issue by Arthur Gordon Svenson and Susan M. Behuniak. ISBN 0-7425-1725-X.

  • Assisted Suicide and the Right to Die: The Interface of Social Science, Public Policy, and Medical Ethics by Barry Rosenfeld PhD, 2004 ISBN 1-59147-102-8.

  • Forced Exit : The Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder by Wesley J. Smith, 1997. ISBN 0-8129-2790-7.

  • "A View to a Kill" by Wesley J. Smith, National Review Online, December 14, 2005, retrieved December 14, 2005.

  • Appointment With Dr. Death by Michael Betzold

Wikipedia.org

 
 

CHRONOLOGY OF DR. JACK KEVORKIAN'S LIFE
AND
ASSISTED SUICIDE CAMPAIGN

May 28, 1928
Kevorkian is born in Pontiac, Michigan, the son of Armenian immigrants.

1952
Graduates from University of Michigan medical school with a specialty in pathology.

1956
Publishes journal article, "The Fundus Oculi and the Determination of Death," discussing his efforts to photograph the eyes of dying patients, a practice that earned him the nickname "Doctor Death."

December 1958
Presents paper at meeting in Washington, D.C., advocating medical experimentation on consenting convicts during executions. Embarrassed, University of Michigan officials ask Kevorkian to leave his residency there.

1961
Publishes article in The American Journal of Clinical Pathology detailing his experiments on transfusing blood from cadavers to live patients.

1970
Becomes chief pathologist at Saratoga General Hospital in Detroit.

Late 1970s
Quits pathology career, travels to California, and invests life savings in directing and producing a feature movie based on Handel's "Messiah." With no distributor, the movie flops.

1980s
Publishes numerous articles in the obscure German journal Medicine and Lawoutlining his ideas on euthanasia and ethics.

1987
Advertises in Detroit papers as a "physician consultant" for "death counseling."

1988
Kevorkian's article, "The Last Fearsome Taboo: Medical Aspects of Planned Death," is published in Medicine and Law. In it, he outlines his proposed system of planned deaths in suicide clinics, including medical experimentation on patients.

1989
Using $30 worth of scrap parts scrounged from garage sales and hardware stores, Kevorkian builds his "suicide machine" at the kitchen table of his Royal Oak, Michigan, apartment.

June 4, 1990
Kevorkian is present at the death of Janet Adkins, a 54-year-old Portland, Oregon, woman with Alzheimer's disease. Her death using the "suicide machine" occurs in Kevorkian's 1968 Volkswagen van in Groveland Oaks Park near Holly, Michigan.

June 8, 1990
An Oakland County Circuit Court Judge enjoins Kevorkian from aiding in any suicides.

December 12, 1990
District Court Judge Gerald McNally dismisses murder charge against Kevorkian in death of Adkins.

October 23, 1991
Kevorkian attends the deaths of Marjorie Wantz, a 58-year-old Sodus, Michigan, woman with pelvic pain, and Sherry Miller, a 43-year-old Roseville, Michigan, woman with multiple sclerosis. The deaths occur at a rented state park cabin near Lake Orion, Michigan. Wantz dies from the suicide machine's lethal drugs, Miller from carbon monoxide poisoning inhaled through a face mask.

November 20, 1991
The state Board of Medicine summarily revokes Kevorkian's license to practice medicine in Michigan.

May 15, 1992
Susan Williams, a 52-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis, dies from carbon monoxide poisoning in her home in Clawson, Michigan.

July 21, 1992
Oakland County Circuit Court Judge David Breck dismisses charges against Kevorkian in deaths of Miller and Wantz. Oakland County Prosecutor Richard Thompson appeals.

September 26, 1992
Lois Hawes, 52, a Warren, Michigan, woman with lung and brain cancer, dies from carbon monoxide poisoning at the home of Kevorkian's assistant Neal Nicol in Waterford Township, Michigan.

November 23, 1992
Catherine Andreyev of Moon Township, Pennsylvania, dies in Nicol's home. She was 45 and had cancer. Hers is the first of 10 deaths Kevorkian attends over the next three months; all die from inhaling carbon monoxide.

December 3, 1992 The Michigan Legislature passes a ban on assisted suicide to take effect on March 30, 1993.

February 15, 1993
Hugh Gale, a 70-year-old man with emphysema and congestive heart disease, dies in his Roseville home. Prosecutors investigate after Right-to-Life advocates find papers that show Kevorkian altered his account of Gale's death, deleting a reference to a request by Gale to halt the procedure.

February 25, 1993
Michigan Governor John Engler signs the legislation banning assisted suicide. It makes aiding in a suicide a four-year felony but allows law to expire after a blue-ribbon commission studies permanent legislation.

April 27, 1993
A California law judge suspends Kevorkian's medical license after a request from that state's medical board.

August 4, 1993
Thomas Hyde, a 30-year-old Novi, Michigan, man with ALS, is found dead in Kevorkian's van on Belle Isle, a Detroit park.

September 9, 1993
Hours after a judge orders him to stand trial in Hyde's death, Kevorkian is present at the death of cancer patient Donald O'Keefe, 73, in Redford Township, Michigan.

November 5-8, 1993
Kevorkian fasts in Detroit jail after refusing to post $20,000 bond in case involving Hyde's death.

November 29, 1993
Kevorkian begins fast in Oakland County jail for refusing to post $50,000 bond after being charged in the October death of Merian Frederick, 72.

December 17, 1993
Kevorkian ends fast and leaves jail after Oakland County Circuit Court Judge reduces bond to $100 in exchange for his vow not to assist in any more suicides until state courts resolve the legality of his practice.

January 27, 1994
Circuit Court Judge dismisses charges against Kevorkian in two deaths, becoming the fifth lower court judge in Michigan to rule that assisted suicide is a constitutional right.

May 2, 1994
A Detroit jury acquits Kevorkian of charges he violated the state's assisted suicide ban in the death of Thomas Hyde.

May 10, 1994
The Michigan Court of Appeals strikes down the state's ban on assisted suicide on the grounds it was enacted unlawfully.

November 8, 1994
Oregon becomes the first state to legalize assisted suicide when voters pass a tightly restricted Death with Dignity Act. But legal appeals keep the law from taking effect.

November 26, 1994
Hours after Michigan's ban on assisted suicide expires, 72-year-old Margaret Garrish dies of carbon monoxide poisoning in her home in Royal Oak. She had arthritis and osteoporosis. Kevorkian is not present when police arrive.

December 13, 1994
The Michigan Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of Michigan's 1993-94 ban on assisted suicide and also rules assisted suicide is illegal in Michigan under common law. The ruling reinstates cases against Kevorkian in four deaths.

June 26, 1995
Kevorkian opens a "suicide clinic" in an office in Springfield Township, Michigan. Erika Garcellano, a 60-year-old Kansas City, Missouri, woman with ALS, is the first client. A few days later, the building's owner kicks out Kevorkian.

September 14, 1995
Kevorkian arrives at the Oakland County Courthouse in Pontiac, Michigan in homemade stocks with ball and chain. He is ordered to stand trial for assisting in the 1991 suicides of Sherry Miller and Marjorie Wantz.

October 30, 1995
A group of doctors and other medical experts in Michigan announces its support of Kevorkian, saying they will draw up a set of guiding principles for the "merciful, dignified, medically-assisted termination of life."

February 1, 1996
New England Journal of Medicine publishes massive studies of physicians attitudes towards doctor-assisted suicide in Oregon and Michigan. Studies demonstrate that a large number of physicians surveyed support, in some conditions, doctor-assisted suicide.

March 6, 1996
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rules that mentally competent, terminally ill adults have a constitutional right to aid in dying from doctors, health care workers and family members. It is the first time a federal appeals court endorses assisted suicide.

March 8, 1996
A jury acquits Kevorkian in two deaths.

March 20, 1996
Representative Dave Camp (R-MI), introduces a bill in the U.S. House to prohibit tax-payer funding of assisted suicide.

April 1,1996
Trial begins in Kevorkian's home town of Pontiac in the deaths of Miller and Wantz. For the start of his third criminal trial, he wears colonial costume--tights, a white powdered wig, and big buckle shoes--a protest against the fact that he is being tried under centuries-old common law. He would face a maximum of five years in prison and a $10, 000 fine if convicted in the Wantz/Miller deaths. On May 14, 1996 the jury acquitted him.

November 4, 1996
Kevorkian's lawyer announces a previously unreported assisted suicide of a 54-year-old woman. This brings the total number of his assisted suicides, since 1990, to 46.

June 12, 1997
In Kevorkian's fourth trial, a judge declares a mistrial.
The case is later dropped.

June 26, 1997
The U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously that state governments have the right to outlaw doctor-assisted suicide. The Court had been asked to decide whether state laws banning the practice in New York and Washington were unconstitutional.

November 5, 1997
Oregon residents vote to uphold the state's assisted suicide law, the first of its kind in the nation. The law allows doctors to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients.

March 14, 1998
This day marks Kevorkian's 100th assisted suicide, involving a 66-year-old Detroit man.

September 1, 1998
Michigan's second law outlawing physician-assisted suicide goes into effect.

November 3, 1998
Michigan voters reject a proposal to legalize physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill.

November 22, 1998
CBS's "60 Minutes" airs a videotape showing Kevorkian giving a lethal injection to Thomas Youk, 52, who suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease. The broadcast triggers an intense debate within medical, legal and media circles.

November 24, 1998
Michigan charges Kevorkian with first-degree murder, violating the assisted suicide law and delivering a controlled substance without a license in the death of Youk. Prosecutors later drop the suicide charge. Kevorkian insists on defending himself during the trial and threatens to starve himself if he is sent to jail.

Kevorkian and longtime attorney Geoffrey Fieger officially split up over disagreeance of Kevorkian representing himself as his own lawyer.

April 13, 1999
Convicted of second-degree murder and delivery of a controlled substance in the death of Youk, a Michigan judge sentences Kevorkian to 10-25 years in prison. He would be eligible for parole in six years. Kevorkian plans to appeal.

March 15, 2000
Kevorkian gets receives Civil Activist Award from the Gleitsman Foundation as he awaits for court appeal date.

Fansoffieger.com

 

 

 
 
 
 
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