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. Not a Yes Mon

    Dr. Kervorkian had a very important place in the cosmos of humans' lives. He SHOULD be missed!!!

    June 3, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. cristengod

    thank the cristen god almighty that this killer criminal is dead. Aint nobody should be taken the lifes of other animals except the cristen god allmighty. cristen god allmighty did to this criminal what he desurved.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • AT

      U are truly an idiot!!!

      June 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • savestheday

      hey how about you learn how to spell, if you're so "CHRISTIAN" maybe you should learn how to spell it!

      June 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • no

      You are so stupid it's hilarious!!

      June 3, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • SweeTeaNoVa

      Your misspelled words in 2 sentences:
      cristen 3x
      Lifes (Lives, no such thing as plural lifes)
      Aint (needs an apostrophe)
      taken (ing dude)
      allmighty 2x
      desurved (not even close)
      Let's not even broach grammar.

      I am guessing Appalacia Home Schooling is responsible for this dudes education. Stay away from written words buddy and just go shoot something dead from your porch.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rick

    What Kevorkian did was give the dying an honorable way to go without having to either 1) die in pain or 2) give everything they own to the US medical industrial complex first. His goal was commendable. His only mistake was trying to make a big deal out of it in the press.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. joAnn

    I'm,so glad this joker is dead,for he not was not God.Let,people commit suicide without any help at at. JoAnn

    June 3, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • no

      Such a good christian you are. Too bad it wasn't you. Worthless idiot.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Not a Yes Mon

    When I think of Dr. Jack Kervorkian, I think of a person who was superior to most in the realm of human reasoning. He was above it all in many aspects of mankind's ways of thinking.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Babak from LA

    You did it your way Jack ... RIP!

    June 3, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. cbyamasato

    I have been an ICU nurse for nearly 30 years. My father was a neurologist and had a masters in public health. We both agreed and I still agree (my father died of cancer) that Kevorkian was a saint and an unsung hero well ahead of his time. Americans are simply afraid of the imevitable. We all die, either with digmity or pathetically. God bless you Jack.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. trigtwit...America's favorite tard baby

    What did he do with retards like me?

    June 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Siward

    Did he kill himself?

    June 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Senicova

    Think about it this way.. We euthanize animals when they are in pain which they will not recover.. but why not outselves

    June 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • hustlenflo

      But who decides who gets the kill pill? Sarah Palin's Death Panel ????

      June 3, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John Doughboy

    He's gone, but will probably be remembered by his deeds in history..

    June 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mary

    I believe in God, a creator..Jesus.. I believe in compassion and caring..
    I have never understood why it is compassionate to put an 'animal ' out of their misery.. And cruel if you will not.. Yet this man was a "murderer" for helping 'people' end their suffering..
    If some one understands I would like a "real" answer to that.
    Abortions in my opinion are "Murder" because they end a potential for a wonderful and long life.. Yet that is "ok"...
    It seems we live in a world where people make up the rules as we go along and distort them at the same time..

    June 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ladylou

      AMEN! to that

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

      The thing about you folks is that you don't practice what you preach. Don't watch your family suffer. I had to hear my uncle suffer over the phone when I talked to him last when he was dying of brain cancer. It was the most horrible sound I had ever heard in my life and I will never forget it. I knew he was suffering. People like Dr. K thought outside of the box. He was progressive in his practice and gave people options. He is not a murderer if these people chose for him to help them. People who are suffering are too weak to either do it themselves or do not have access to a lethal amount of medication that will end their suffering quickly. The argument I have seen on here about doing it to your pets is completely valid. We do it because we can't stand to see them suffer. Why would you let that happen to your loved ones? And wouldn't you not want to suffer yourself? He wasn't a murderer. This past yourself and past God for a change. I go to a church of divine science and we always address God as the only being that is great, but he has no traction on OUR choices. God didn't ask us if we wanted to be created and he does not control our lives or our choices nor can he judge one thing to be a good deed and another to be a bad deed. The consensus seems to be that we all admired Dr. K's work. May he rest in peace. Take your hate somewhere else.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jesus Lizard

    RIP Dr. Jack.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BK

    He had more courage than most people out there. RIP indeed for talking about the white elephant in the room.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jean2009

    Dr. Jack Kevorkian is dead, but his heart and compassion for the suffering of others lives on. He made those who still do not want to face the issues of maintaining life at all costs and those who disregard the dignity of our fellow man in choosing how their life should end. In most cases, we treat our suffering pets with more compassion. Dr.Kevorkian was nothing more than an early advocate for a person's right to chose to die without prolonging needless suffering.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
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