June 3rd, 2011 13:14 EST
Jack Kevorkian, Dr. Death, Dead At 83! Long May His Cause Live!
"Jack Kevorkian, the zealous, straight-talking American doctor known as "Dr. Death" for his lifelong crusade to legalize physician-assisted suicide died on Friday at a Detroit area hospital, the Associated Press reported. He was 83 years old.
Dr. Kevorkian spent decades campaigning for the legalization of euthanasia. He served eight years in prison and was arrested numerous times for helping more than 130 patients commit suicide between 1990 and 2000, using injections, carbon monoxide and his infamous suicide machine, built from scraps for $30. Those he aided had terminal conditions such as multiple sclerosis, ALS and malignant brain tumors."
"Physician-assisted suicide in the United States is legal in the states of Oregon, Montana and Washington.
he Oregon Death with Dignity Act, and the Washington statute modeled after it, set certain requirements and safeguards before a person may commit suicide with a doctor`s assistance. The patient must be of sound mind when they request a prescription for a lethal dose of medication. Two doctors must confirm a diagnosis of terminal illness with no more than six months to live. Two witnesses, one non-doctor unrelated to the patient, must confirm the patient`s request, and the patient must make a second request after 15 days."
Dr. Jack Kevorkian dedicated his career and his life to the cause of physician-assisted suicide. "Dr Death" served eight years for the cause he believed in; he brought the issue of physician-assisted suicide to the forefront of the American consciousness.
Ironically nobody did more to discredit the cause of physician-assisted suicide than Kevorkian. Dr. Death stalked the byways and highways searching for terminally ill patients who could benefit from his infamous death machine. It`s too bad that the most prominent advocate of assisted-suicide was a sensationalist who looked like the Grim Reaper.
Kevorkian died, apparently of pulmonary thrombosis, after spending the last couple of months in a Michigan hospital. Kevorkian knew he was on his death bed, why did he languish the last few weeks of his life in the hospital? Dr. Death could have put an exclamation to his crusade by taking his own life, he missed a wonderful opportunity to make his death meaningful.
Kevorkian believed in death with dignity, but he brought anything but dignity to the patients he ushered into the great unknown. A circus atmosphere enveloped the good doctor, and woe to the families of his patients who got caught up n the media frenzy.
.Physician-assisted suicide is common in enlightened Europe, and it will be standard practice in the United States in the near future. Let`s hope that some less controversial figures than Dr. Death will take up his worthy cause.
Follow Robert Paul Reyes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/robertpaulreyes