Dr. Jack Kevorkian dead at 83
June 3rd, 2011
08:49 AM ET

Dr. Jack Kevorkian dead at 83

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the Michigan pathologist who put assisted suicide on the world's medical ethics stage, died early Friday, according to a spokesman with Beaumont Hospital. He was 83.

The assisted-suicide advocate had been hospitalized in Michigan for pneumonia and a kidney-related ailment, his attorney Mayer Morganroth has said.

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Kevorkian's favorite musician, was put on the intercom so he could hear the music as he was dying, Morganroth said.

The 83-year-old former pathologist had struggled with kidney problems for years and had checked into a hospital earlier this month for similar problems, his lawyer, Mayer Morganroth, told CNN last month. He checked back into Beaumont Hospital in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak on May 18 after suffering a relapse, Morganroth said.

Kevorkian, dubbed "Dr. Death," made national headlines as a supporter of physician-assisted suicide and "right-to-die" legislation. He was charged with murder numerous times through the 1990s for helping terminally ill patients take their own lives.

He was convicted on second-degree murder charges in 1999 stemming from the death of a patient who suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease. He was paroled in 2007.

After his release, he said he would not help end any more lives.

In an interview with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta last year, Kevorkian said he had no regrets about his work.

"No, no. It's your purpose (as a) physician. How can you regret helping a suffering patient?" he said.

In that interview, Kevorkian said that he had three missions in life and that he himself was not ready to die.

One of his missions was to warn mankind of "impending doom" that will come from the culture of overabundance.

"I'm not going to be too popular for that one," he said.

His second mission was to educate people about assisted suicide, and his belief that in states where assisted suicide has been legalized, it is not being done right. He believed that people shouldn't have to be terminal in order to qualify for help in ending their own lives.

Kevorkian's third stated mission was to convince Americans that their rights are being infringed upon by bans on everything from smoking to assisted suicide.

In 2008, at the age of 79, he had a failed run for Congress in Michigan.

Morganroth told the Detroit Free Press it appears Kevorkian suffered a pulmonary thrombosis when a blood clot from his leg broke free and lodged in his heart. With Kevorkian were his niece Ava Janus and Morganroth.

“It was peaceful," Morganroth told the paper. "He didn’t feel a thing."

Kevorkian's interviews with CNN in past years:

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: I've rarely been at a loss for words when conducting an interview



soundoff (1,212 Responses)
  1. hero

    Blood clot named national hero.
    Does to that murderer what society should have done years ago.
    It's one thing opening debate for compassionate end of life care. it's another poisoning people in the back of a van with nail polish remover. he was americas worst serial killer, putting Ted Bundy to shame.
    Blood Clot for president

    June 3, 2011 at 9:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gracko

      Oh just shut your pie hole and be thankful that neither you nor anyone you know has had to be in the position of having to deal with long-term terminal illnesses.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon King

      Yawn, you are boring.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      You have issues, sir. Perhaps before pointing fingers at others you should take a long, critical look at yourself.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Ed, Spring TX

      You're just a whack job.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      Moron. He wasn't lurking in a van trying to kill unsuspecting people. He was making himself available to people who were in true pain, had no chance of recovering and just wanted to be given the same release that we would give a dog: Quick and painless death.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • OMG2010

      Nothing like reating people like dogs

      June 3, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • leslyn

      Well said. We treat dogs much moer "humane-ly" than humans.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaleMM

      That's so sad. Because most dogs are euthanized because their owners cannot afford their medical treatment. Decisions based on economics aren't about being humane or compassionate.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • planethou

      I agree. We treat dogs better than humans. We put them out of their suffering, quick and painless. Whereas with people, we allow them to suffer, make their loved ones watch, and make everything pay until their ruined.

      June 3, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • cm

      I don't know if putting a dog/cat down is the right thing to do either. I was on a 3 day death watch with my 15 year old cat. When the end was near I couldn't allow someone to take her life away. Do we put pet down for their sake or our own. Most humans cannot deal with suffering they run from it – even hospitals have special places for the dying and or dead people – their own entrance – their own elevators, etc. I learned a lot from my cat...even her dying and death still leave me with lessons.

      June 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • blueskys2

      Not true. Most of his victims had a great chance of recovery. Most were not even terminally ill. You may want to get your facts together on this one.

      June 3, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      Dream on pal. Many of Kevorkian's victim were women with disabilities suffering from depression and the coroner's report showed that most were not terminally ill at all. Check out the facts dude.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      You sir have no grasp of what it is like to live with a crippling and painful disease that steals away your dignity and condemns you and your loved one(s) to a hellish existence. This man is a hero.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul Ruddy

      I agree 100%, this man should be looked at as a hero. Any wackjob who could utter a single negative word about him will have a rude awakening if a long term illness falls upon their lap. What a shame that he was never portrayed as a great man by the media.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • broker200

      He's not a hero trust me. I have no problem with what he did. I just have a problem with people making him out as a saint. This guy was sick. Everyone knew it and his prime objective was to watch the people die.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • nils

      Yeah. Everyone knows that. You are smart.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Every point of your comment is wrong...you need to wake up and think.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • shtstx

      You are the sick one if you believe that. The man was compassionate. He not only saved people from their agonizing pain but allowed them to do it in a way where they themselves were empowered. He saved people from what would otherwise be a lingering, excruciating, undignified death, all at their wishes.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Fact

      Where's your evidence for you baseless claims? Why was he sick, how do you know what his primary motivation was. . . . Oh wait you don't have any evidence, this is just your ill informed opinion

      June 3, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Completely agree !casinos francais

      June 23, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      It wasn't that at all but go ahead and make stupid assumptions. If he enjoyed it so much than he wouldn't have turned down 95% of the cases brought to him.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • jonigirl Israel

      he only turned them do couse he would go back to jail for helping remember he was a great man RIP !!

      June 5, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mohammad Al Akbar Saraheem

      The movie "You don't know Jack" shows him in a very sympathetic life, actually. You should check it out.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Any whacko who targets disabled people, conflates their disability with terminal illness and kills them in order to advance his personal crusade is no hero. Such a man is an egotistical mass murdereor who is guilty of hate crimes against disabled people. Shame on Jack!

      June 3, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • AL

      HE WAS A TRUE HERO & A GREAT MAN. AMERICA WRONGED HIM BUT I HOPE THERE WILL BE MORE LIKE HIM. THANK YOU JACK, R.I.P.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fabe

      I agree with you 100%. He was a saviour to many people.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Saviour? Take a minute to check a dictionary.

      June 3, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      Agreed. This man was a great American and should be applauded for bringing dignity to a horrible process. This was a man who understood freedom and who was willing to be jailed due to his convictions. We now live in a cowardly society where people are more than happy to let other people champion their cause in an effort to avoid repercussions. This brave man went to jail for supporting freedom of choice, and in support of his convictions. That is what being an American is about. Cheer this man. He offered an option to those with none left. An angel of mercy and a bringer of peace is all he could be called.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • May

      Bravo! My thoughts exactly, Matt. He was a class act and a rare breed.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Myron

      We all have a terminal illness because we are all dying...So let's all get hooked up to the machine, why wait for the inevitable?

      June 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • dominedeus

      If he is a "hero" then we are ALL in trouble. What happened to the heroes that fought for life?

      June 3, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • really?

      Life at what cost?? So you can look down on a suffering soul, dying anyway, and comfort yourself that they are still here and you don't need to grieve just yet?? Or have you never had to face such an end? Either way, you're a tool.

      June 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • art

      I wonder if you were terminally ill – full of pain – would you want to prolong your wonderful life. You are clueless and live in a fishbowl.

      June 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Not mutually exclusive. Both types of heroes can exist. Open your mind a bit.

      June 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zach

      He did fight for life, through ending it for terminally ill patients that were suffering big time. I hate ignorance...

      June 3, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gerry

      I truly believe that if Kevorkian could have saved any of these ppl medically he would have done so. You acted like he looked forward to it. Theses ppl came to him, sought him out, asked for his assistance. Hero's come in all forms so I suppose soldiers arent hero's in your eye's, because they have to take a life?....narrow minded thinking can never allow us to forge ahead.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • grandpaof3

      He is my hero and not yours. Your heros may not be mine. People are different and have different heros. I don't criticize your heros, so you don't say we are ALL in trouble just because you don't like my hero. Think like an adulot, open your mind, mature a little. It's all good!

      June 3, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seaglass

      Amen!

      June 3, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • This is Pointless

      This comment, like the other name-calling ones, is completely unnecessary and does nothing for the debate.

      What this strand of comments does elucidate is that there are seemingly no mature adults in this world anymore. Only children who think with their emotion and resort to negative epithets.

      It's sad. If we are the future, then the future is shaping up to be a very angry and hostile place that will not be good for anyone.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Texas

      To "this is pointless"- in my experience most people who make these types of comments are people who are 40 in age. Most children who have grown up with the Internet treat it like any other form of communication and don't act to foolishly, many adults seem to use it as a place to let loose and YELL things they would never say in public. IMHO this coming up generation seems more responsible than the two that came before it.

      And as for the good Doctor, I think he was a great human being. Ive seen people that condemned him 15 years ago change their opinion as soon as they have a relative dying from a terminal painful illness

      June 3, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • carla

      where are your facts to back up your statement? My "guess" would be around 20 years old. Why? Because they are still insensitive, spoiled, brats. Their brain isn't even fully developed at that age. People over 30 tend to not have a knee jerk response to such non sense.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Take it easy there. I'm 20 and am not partial to that stereotype. Many people my age are immature, stupid, and emotional. However that doesn't hold true for all of us. Just wanted to point that out.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Houston

      I beg to differ, Texas. From your statement I gather that you consider anyone over 40 to be "old", so I'm guessing that
      you are considerably younger than that. I'm probably old enough to be your grandfather. It is we, the generations
      just previous to yours, who gave you the internet. And we never dreamed that you children would use it so irresponsibly.
      That was our mistake. We didn't adequately teach you, or insist that you mind your manners...
      As far as Kevorkian is concerned, he was neither saint nor hero. He was merely a doctor who recognized a problem
      and did (rightly or wrongly) what he could to address the problem...

      June 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      There is no debate. A man is dead, you should be showing compassion for the loss, or saying nothing at all, and not attempting to make a political statement. R.I.P. Doc

      June 3, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • espero

      You noticed that too? Bash this, bash that, bash everything. What a future to contemplate. My mother died a year ago of Alzheimer's, after a couple of incredibly miserable, incredibly expensive, incredibly tormented, senseless years. She knew it better than anyone. Ultimately, hers was an unassisted death – she had no sense of hunger, stopped eating and drinking altogether, and starved to death. Sad tale – Dr. Kevorkian offered a far more humane alternative to years of torment and torture.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • chefmom

      Going to face that with the FIL in a few years...not happy...he is too young.
      Bless your mother.
      Kevorkian was many things...saint, pariah, murderer, Angel of mercy....opinions are like rear ends.....he did what he did. Those he alleviated of pain are eternally grateful. Those who convicted him feel vindicated. A physician wishes to do no harm, but a compassionate person wants to help the truly suffering. Sometimes it isn't the band aid approaches. No one wants to lose a loved one. This man helped many in pain pass as comfortably as he could.
      He is gone now. Let him be. He will be judged by the ages...I believe, even as a Catholic, that he meant to help...may he find his own peace.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • AP

      Pointless,
      Thank you. I've shared this same sentiment with so many others. I'd like to think that the majority of people don't resort to arguments ad hominem during serious discussions. I'd like to think that the majority of people can use reason, even when they are passionate about a subject. I'd like to think these things are true, and I hope they are. I used to get upset when reading responses to these articles, but now I just shake my head and get on with my day.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • PhilG.

      I like turtles.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • LisaM

      So do I. As long as they are humanely killed when their zest for life is gone.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      I find this point of view offensive and will now resort to judging your entire existence on a single comment I read on a cnn blog.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • M.K.

      OMG funny.! Tosh.O. RIP Jack...

      June 3, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Why post this message? How are we supposed to know if you like real turtles or the candy!!

      June 3, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Turtles are a slippery slope to fascism.

      June 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robin

      *pulls pipe outta tighty greenies*

      June 3, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Health Care Worker

      Let me ask you – what field do you work in? Or have you had a loved one die from a terminal disease? If you answered yes to either of these questions, I think you would be able to better understand. I've been treating terminally ill patients for 10 years. Their drive for life and determination to live is completely extinguished after they fought a long, hard battle, and it's nearing the end of their disease process. Why should they not have the option to make their own decisions, assuming their deemed sane and cognitive. Could you imagine how it would feel to completely be mentally and emotionally intact, but physically destroyed? Why should they have to worry about not being able to (ever again) properly eat, drink, swallow, walk, shower...the simple things in life. These simple things are the things that (eventually) many terminally ill patients are not able to accomplish. They loose their feeling of self-worth, especially if they were once independent, highly motivated, and career driven. These people get to the point they they are relying on someone to turn them every hour or two to prevent bed sores, placement of feeding tubes and medications through IVs. This kind of life is not fair to anyone. Selfishly, society wants their loved ones to live forever since we will miss them when they're gone. As understanding and compassionate as I am towards that idea, it's not realistic. But, NOT having to experience long term, UNTREATABLE 'pain' is one of the best things. That's why during my 'Death and Dying' class I debated and stood up for Dr. Kevorkian.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • T

      Thank you! Well Said!

      June 3, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Humanity

      Good for you. You at least have a heart u- nlike many of the so-called "Christians" commenting in their self-righteous manner.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • NYCMovieFan

      Well put, thank you for your excellent posting. You could also add the financial strain of terminal illness to the list of issues. Patients are also worried abou that, because we have a greed-based system instead of a real healthCARE system.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • SARed

      @Health Care Worker – Very well said and put. I couldn't agree more. Thank you for your input.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul Atlanta, GA

      I completely agree with you. Read my argument.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • deb

      Very well said, my friend. Agree....

      June 3, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Babak from LA

      I agree. I think he made a great contribution by making us think about having this choice.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      Well said.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carm

      HCW ... Thank you for your educated and sensitive input! You have covered all bases well, and while a delicate issue, everyone should let their loved ones know of their personal choices during the end-of-life processes. Hopefully, every State will soon move toward allowing people's Rights to be observed, instead of maintaining an archaic approach to making decisions for those they will never meet!

      June 3, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kellie

      I've always been a supporter and stood up for hm ~ this was well said and I couldn't agree with you more..

      June 3, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ebolter

      Well said.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      Amen. And thank you for what comfort and care you give to those in need of it.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deej59

      I agree. And it's not just that they want people to live forever because they'll miss them. The two biggest weights pushing against assisted suicide are bible-thumpers who want to force everyone to live according to the book they've decided is non-fiction and the doctors, who routinely say they got in the business to save lives, not end them. Well that's fine, don't offer that service, but don't stop other people based on your belief. You'll sleep fine at night while tens of thousands are struggling just to get through the night because of pain. We need to get these arrogant doctors to back off, and we'll NEVER get the bible-thumpers to back off so we need to just ignore them.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      You make an interesting point. As far as the doctors go, they take an oath to do no harm. I wonder how they decide if killing a patient is more harmful than allowing them to suffer in endless agony.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Natalie

      Your words couldn't ring more true – & for people that haven't watched a loved one deteriorate beyond words have no place speaking about this subject. Come talk to me when your mother is begging you "please let me out of this place" because she is in so much pain, vomitting literally every 5-10 minutes. I just think people are naive to how much people can suffer.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • physical = mental health

      And what about those who are physically healthy but who are chronically plagued by severe mental illness for which there is no treatment? Quality of life isn't just determined by physical status. If it's a gorgeous day and you are on a picnic with your loved ones and everything is perfect except your impending eruption from food poisoning or the stomach flu, does it matter that everything else is perfect? No. Perception begins and ends with the brain and severe mental illness is forever. These people sometimes need help to do what they have wanted to do for years and should be assisted if they wish. Quality of life is many things and when you don't have it any more, it's time to throw in the towel.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • cm

      In total agreement...since humans think they are so capable of deciding who lives or dies why can only those who suffer with physical ailments take top bill of the whole suffering realm and have this whole life with dignity cause. Mental and emotional illness is just as brutal. Just because it's silent doesn't mean the pain doesn't matter. Bottom line, who the h3ll has the right to decide what humans are worthy of life anyways?

      June 3, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • DannyJ33

      Well, Hitler gave himself that right.

      June 3, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenn

      Absolutely on the money Health Care worker

      June 3, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • joepa

      Very nice post. Don't forget the financial strain it puts on these people and their families as well. If I am ever in that position I would prefer whats left of my estate to go to my loved ones and not a bunch of doctors so they can take another expensive vacation. People should be able to go with whatever dignity and pain free method the choose. To each his own. If you want to cling to pain riddled total cared for existance, that should be your right to.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dwiteschrute

      Beautiful response. Thank you for sharing.

      June 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • kasey

      First off, I can't answer yes to the first one, because it is not a yes or no question. As for the second one, yes, and I do not have a problem with physician assisted suicide as long as there are ground rules. This guy had no ground rules. He basically helped anyone that wanted to commit suicide, and if they tried to back out at the last minute, he made sure they couldn't. If a patient tries to take the hose out of his nose, then the physician should let him do it, not force it back in. That is what was wrong with Kevorkian and the reason he needed to go to prison. It is one thing for a patient to decide to end their life. It is another if the doctor decides to force them into completing the task when they want to stop.

      June 3, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • sanjosemike

      I can't let your post go by. You are wrong. Kevorkian often refused people suicide requests and in many cases they and their family were enraged because he refused them. He did give people a chance to "stop the process" repeatedly asking if they wanted to continue. In some cases he walked out of their homes. Often they would call him back, but he refused to go.

      Kevorkian did not "kill" people with mental depression (as a diagnosis). They would have to have a concomitant serious disease also. Far more people begged him to administer a suicide than he possibly could or would. It was a source of great distress to him.

      Kevorkian was an atheist. He believed that people should have a choice to not suffer horribly. Our entertainment media often paints death as a quiet, dignified process. In fact however it is often beset with the most unimaginable pain and horrible suffering. It is NOT dignified or pretty in many cases. Just ask a terminal care nurse....

      June 3, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • byrdlady

      kasey – where do you get your information because you clearly are not stating facts about Dr. Kevorkian. If you don't KNOW what you're talking about, it's best to not say anything at all.

      June 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • jmjmjmjmjm

      The people who are against what he did are indeed selfish. They are selfish with their beliefs in a god or gods, and they are selfish by trying to deny the right, AGAIN, for someone to choose what to do with their OWN BODY. This goes back to abortion, gay rights, civil rights movement – ALL OF IT ties in, and has really been fought because of the same right wing nut job stuff. And they say democrats and people on the left want big govt? To me big govt is the govt telling people what to do with their body, what to do in your own house, who you can and cant love, when you want to die (ESPECIALLY if you have a terminal illness), etc. etc. the list goes on. I am personally thankful for medical pros like you and dr. K. I live in Oregon, which for the longest time was the ONLY state to pass assisted suicide law. And we do it right.... make sure the patient is mentally fit, then closely monitor them by a doc and offer a range of services to the family and the patient. People who say this is wrong are indeed selfish and have no clue. It is called ignorance... and it is a REAL SHAME that Americans are known around the world for theit never ending ignorance... despite all of our other wonderful traits. People need to wake up and get their noses out of the bible and right wing nut job neo con websites....

      June 3, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jan

      As you surely know, terminally ill people have long had the right to have their life-sustaining treatment withdrawn at any time. There is no need for dsyfunctional whacko's with a penchant for death and watching people die.

      June 3, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      "As you surely know, terminally ill people have long had the right to have their life-sustaining treatment withdrawn at any time. There is no need for dsyfunctional whacko's with a penchant for death and watching people die."

      So Jan, you are saying that a terminally ill person who is NOT on life support should, for example, request to not be fed and thus starve to death on top of whatever pain and discomfort they are already experiencing? Or perhaps a breathing tube be removed so they can suffocate? I would rather watch a loved one die on their own terms, surrounded by family and friends when they are ready to go, rather than know they withered and suffered alone, or with only the few that could make it to the hospital in time.

      Is that what you're into? If so, you are much more of a sadist than Dr. K ever was!

      June 8, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bell3001

      It's a compelling argument but what happens once assisted suicide is legislated by the government and that door is opened? Should clinically depressed patients be allowed? Should someone with a chronic eating disorder be allowed? I would imagine that some of his victims were clinically depressed when they were "assisted" so you can't say that these situations would never happen.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Becckkyy

      Thank you. Very well put!

      June 5, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • MATJAN62

      Kudos to Health Care Worker. Thanks for doing the most difficult job in the world.

      June 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jim

    Thank you, Dr. Jack, for everything you stood for, and stood up for. Bless you, sir.

    June 3, 2011 at 9:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jess

      I agree. Most people saw him as a horrible person, but if you watched the video he made when he was assisting a man with Lou Gehrig's disease I think you'd see him in a different light. It was heartbreaking to see, but to go with dignity rather than possibly dying by choking on your own saliva, how horrible would that be? It took great courage to help these people, I hope he's finally resting in peace.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Cathy W

      I'm not sure that most people saw him as a horrible person, based on the overwhelming positive remarks here. I think what he did was force people to think about it. I think, and have always thought, that he was a herto

      June 3, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Myron

      He can't hear you... he's dead.... unassisted

      June 3, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • AlanK

      The Jackster murdered people with with disabilities who were not terminally ill. I don't believe that meets the definition of humanitarian. And how about his 'artwork' and using blood to paint with? Ugh, what a creep!

      June 3, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • FrankZ917

      Dear Jess, like most of the world, you saw only the edited video. If the media was not so disingenuous or if you had actually sat in the courtroom and watched Kevorkian's cruel attempts to kill Mr. Youk, I believe you might have agreed with jury and sentenced him to prison. Kevorkian clearly had no idea how to even insert a neddle into a vein and after an agonizing number of clearly painful attempts, he turned the camera off and somehow killed poor Mr. Youk. Kevorkian is truly a disgusting and evil man.

      June 3, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Osama bin Laden

    Hello my freind "FRED" ...... I am not an IDIOT .... I am a man that want to live in pease ..... DURKA DURKA

    June 3, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Sue

    I worked as a nurse for 18 years. I saw a patient with Lou Gehrig's at the end. She was choking and fighting for life until the spell would end. Terrible and traumatic. It got more often and worse. One day her daughter came, we were told to not bother them, by the administration. A few hours later we were told she had committed assisted suicide with her daughter there by her side. This woman got to end her life in dignity, not in fear and trauma as she choked to death. She got to end her life with a loved one quietly and peacefully, not with alarms and EMT's (strangers) rushing to poke and prod her as she died. After seeing this, and many other deaths, I am all for assisted suicide when it is done properly and enough doctors sign off on it. You have to have less than 6 months to live and 3 docs sign off on it. ( See Oregon Law..the only state allowing assisted suicide) I have seen AIDS patients use it. There is only pain and no hope left. Only diaper changes and turns in bed every two hours. More pain and despair...a haze of drugs to numb your brain to the fear and pain. To be able to "check out" on your own ground is intelligent, compassionate, and right. I'm terminally ill now, and plan on using it when the time comes.

    June 3, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Osama bin Laden

      Good luck ..... stay strong ..... live in pease.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • James Coats

      I'm sorry Sue !!! Good luck and WE LOVE YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 3, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Seraphimo

      Agree with you Sue. Only people who actually work with patients understand the value of service like his. Others just spew religious intolerance and ignorance. I hope that I have someone brave enough to carry out his work IF I ever need it. RIP Dr. Kevorkian.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • xabana

      Thank you for that honest response. I feel the same.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Name*Tiffany

      I couldn't agree more with you. Very well written. Bravo!

      June 3, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Anna

      Thank you, Sue, for your post. Those who are blessed with good health or are still young have no idea what those poor people go through. He seemed to understand. It is such a heart-wrenching ethical issue and he must have had extraordinary strength of spirit to stand up for what he believed and for those who couldn't stand up for their own dignity because of cruel diseases. RIP, doctor Kevorkian.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      I correct myself..apparently Washington state also has the "Death with Dignity act" now.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • 3lwood

      Thank you, Sue. You are an enlightened and compassionate soul. Best of luck to you.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Myron

      Why wait do it tomorrow?

      June 3, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • DingoBerry

      Your post was incredible. Best of luck to you.

      June 3, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • grandpaof3

      Myron: I am sorry you have to go so soon. Really? Tomorrow?

      June 3, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Robert Arkow

    I wonder is assisted suicide is covered under Obama-care?

    June 3, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Blood clot

      after reading the entire bill, my understanding is that it is mandatory at age 55. It's central to the cost cutting measures.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • MarineDad

      I recommend it for bigots and idiots we have running lose.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • butlerbulldawg74

      Even though i'm pro-bama, i gotta admit that was pretty funny.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph

      We know what's covered under the Republican plans......Their campaigns

      June 3, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      I hope so, especially for morons and haters such as yourself.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • MJL

      Obviously the blood clot is in your head. You have SERIOUS issues – seek help.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Karl

      I think it's covered and strongly encouraged even if you have a simple cold.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      To Blood Clot and his herd...the ONLY thing in the health care bill was that the lengthy conversations doctors are ALREADY having with patients and families about end-of-life care, like "what code status do you want? Do you want to be shocked with electrical paddles or not?" now has been given a diagnosis code for such visits so that a physician can apporopriately be paid for the professional time spent. That's ALL! How the right wingers turned that aound nto "death panels" is beyond me.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • JB

      No. but it is part of Paul Ryan's new Medicare plan.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cillian1977

    RIP Dr.Kevorkian. Thank you for bringing this issue to national attention.

    June 3, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rajoe

    He was not a christian.

    June 3, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cillian1977

      I bet he was more of a Christian than you.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • 3lwood

      Careful, let's not insult the deceased.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Floyd

      So, only niceties for Osama bin Laden too? That is a little silly. Jerks are jerks, dead or alive. Though this doc did not seem to be a bad man. Just your statement is too broad.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • a2rjr

      Ever hear of the Commandments? Thou shall not kill... He wasn't a Christian.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      I'm sure he wasn't really worried about whether people thought he was a good christian or not. He wasn't even worried about his own safety. He was worried about the people he helped and to me that says more than any of your damn ten commandments ever could!

      June 3, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • DingoBerry

      The ten commandments are mythological and not helpful in any way, except in spreading bigotry and hatred. Kevorkian was an honorable individual, far better than any "christians" I've been witness to.

      June 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rough Ride

      and????

      June 3, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • John Elway

      And...I was a quaterback for the Broncos...What's your problem?

      June 3, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed, Spring TX

      He sounds a lot more compassionate than you. If you're the Christian ideal then count me out.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      All the better.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Max Steele

      You said that like it was a negative.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Karl

      I'm definitely not a christian

      June 3, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • WHy

      i'm glad jesus didn't die that way

      June 3, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • worldbelow

      Yeah, he was crowned in blood and hung between 2 common thieves

      June 3, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Me too... had he died peacefully and at ease, he would have made one crappy Martyr to base 2000 years of bigotry and agression on...

      June 3, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • CC

      I wish I would have thought that one up

      June 3, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. James Coats

    Dr. Jack I followed you for years through news reports and I for one would like to say I'm truely sorry for the way you were treated what a shame a TRUE AMERICAN HERO was treated like a common criminal!!!!! Thank you for what you tried to do.

    June 3, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. JW

    Well, I guess all of his opponents will be happy that the man is dead, that God took him away as punishment at the young age of 83. Didn't allow him to live out a long life. What's that, he surpassed the average life expectency? So this wasn't a premature death? He did live out a long and fruitful life? What, why wouldn't God take him out of here at 50 or something since he didn't appreciate God's creation? Ahhh, well, interesting . . . time to rethink those philosophies about God maybe?

    June 3, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lenwood

      Against whom are you arguing? I've never heard this line of reasoning or philosophy about God that you decry. Do you enjoy making straw men arguments against religious people just to knock them over and make yourself look superior? Can you cite one instance of a God-believer saying that anyone who lives contrarily to God's ways will be cut down and their lives truncated?

      June 3, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  10. sarducar

    I see cancer patients every day..depressed..looking like skeletons..with pain so severe that they do not recognize their relatives..you can give them proper pain management..it will require too much..but know the have no right to chose quick death and dignity. We have to keep them alive along as possible even if they loose everything human. I have seen relative running away of finding excuses not to come and visit the patient because the metal trauma and scars are forever. Kevorkian is the only doctor who understood what dignity really is and now he is death. Too bad that we will not have choices any more.
    In my book Dr. Kevorkian is not Dr. Death he is Professor Honoris Causa.

    June 3, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Ruderalis

    There is a movie with Al Pacino called "You don't know Jack." Its about Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Checking it out tonight, should be interesting.

    June 3, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • 3lwood

      You should. It's pretty thought provoking. Pacino spent a lot of time with Dr. K and did an amazing job.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Julio

    Dr. Kevorkian you have been always one of my heros. You stood for a cause you believed so deeply, assisting to die those who no longer wish to live (people with terrible diseases). This government needs to legislate on Euthanasia. You always wanted to take it to the Supreme Court and they rejected to hear. I truly believe that our country needs Euthanasia. This country needs more people like you, with big balls to go against everyone. YOU ARE A BRAVE MAN. Rest in peace.

    June 3, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. John

    Jack understood mercy and compassion more than his critics ever will. Rest in peace, sir, and thank you for all that you did.

    June 3, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Blood clot

    National man hunt for blood clot in progress!!!
    Blood clot last seen lurking in Abe Vigoda's backyard!
    SWAT team en route!
    Blood Clot's girlfriend -Big C- to be in the View today.
    Stick to CNN for more updates onb this dangerous and armed killer!

    June 3, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. MarineDad

    Did he commit suicide, by chance? :-)

    June 3, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
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