June 3rd, 2011
10:41 PM ET

Criminal case against Jack Kevorkian began with 1998 video

Jack Kevorkian, who died Friday at 83, began his crusade to give people the option of choosing to end their life rather than continuing to seek medical treatment in 1989.

During the next nine years, at least 130 people used Kevorkian’s "suicide machine" to take their own lives. With the push of a button, patients were able to give themselves a lethal dose of chemicals.

One patient, however, was unable to use the machine. Thomas Youk suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Instead of just helping Youk, Kevorkian administered the drugs himself. Kevorkian also videotaped the procedure and sent the tape to CBS’ "60 Minutes."

In the recording, Kevorkian repeatedly asked Youk, “Tom, do you want to do this? Are you sure you want to go ahead?"

Youk says yes and nods his head. Kevorkian delivers the drugs and Youk soon died soon thereafter. “60 Minutes” aired Youk’s death.

Michigan prosecutors would later use the tape to help convict Kevorkian of second-degree murder in 1999. Kevorkian spent eight years in prison before being paroled in 2007.

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soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. marieee

    Rest in peace Jack.

    June 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Fae

    I'm sure that the only reasons why this whole thing became such a big deal is 1) Medical practictioners losing tons of money from this sick patients that they would rather keep alive and suffering so they keep paying 2) Religious fanatics that can't see past the tip of their nose to even fathom that the person choosing to die has made peace with whatever belief they have and have really put thought int,o well....NOT being alive anymore. So honestly, get over yourself. YOU have no right to say whether or not someone else can choose to end their own life.

    June 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
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