Jack Kevorkian dies, made no attempts to end his life early (Series on Jack Kevorkian’s legacy of death Part 1)

Report: Jack Kevorkian dies

I am starting a series today on the legacy of death that Jack Kevorkian had. He chose to lengthen his own life while ending the life of others (many were physically able to live much longer).

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Bernie Woodall wrote the article, “Dr. Death” Jack Kevorkian dies, Reuters, June 3, 2011 and he noted: 

news-general-20110603-NEWS-US-KEVORKIAN  Assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian, known as “Dr. Death” for helping more than 100 people end their lives, died early on Friday at age 83, his lawyer said.

Kevorkian died at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, where he had been hospitalized for about two weeks with kidney and heart problems, said Mayer Morganroth, Kevorkian’s attorney and friend.

Kevorkian, a pathologist, was focused on death and dying long before he became a defiant advocate, crossing Michigan in the rusty Volkswagen van that carried his machine to help sick people end their lives.

He launched his assisted-suicide campaign in 1990, allowing an Alzheimer’s patient to kill herself using a machine he had devised. He beat Michigan prosecutors four times before his conviction for second-degree murder in 1999.

Kevorkian was imprisoned for eight years for second-degree murder and was paroled in 2007. As a condition of his parole, he vowed not to assist in any suicides.

He was convicted after a CBS News program aired showing a video of Kevorkian administering lethal drugs to a 52-year-old man suffering from debilitating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The Armenian American Kevorkian did not leave the public eye after his exit from prison in 2007, giving occasional lectures and in 2008 running for Congress unsuccessfully.

An HBO documentary on his life “Kevorkian” and a movie “You Don’t Know Jack” starring Al Pacino brought him back into the news last year.

In a June 2010 interview with Reuters Television, the right-to-die activist said he was afraid of death as much as anyone else and said the world had a hypocritical attitude toward voluntary euthanasia, or assisted suicide.

“Now we’ve avoided death because we don’t like death. Religion says that’s a big enemy, leave it alone. But we went beyond birth, into conception. Now we’re dabbling in that,” he said.

“If we can aid people into coming into the world, why can’t we aid them in exiting the world?”

(Reporting by Mike Miller; Editing by Greg McCune)

(This article has been modified to correct the seventh paragraph to make clear Dr. Kevorian was Armenian American, not born in Armenia)

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Mark Heard in his article in March of 1997 in Christianity Today sums up Francis Schaeffer’s view of the world and how it held true 13 years after Schaeffer’s 1984 death:

some critics have recently allowed that his big picture has proven durable. The conceptual centerpiece of Schaeffer’s historical view is the triumph of relativism in the modern post-Christian world: “Modern men, in the absence of absolutes, have polluted all aspects of morality, making standards completely hedonistic and relativistic.” He would not have been surprised by the advent of “postmodern” thought, which has built countless altars to relativism across the intellectual landscape. Nor would he have been surprised by the resultant moral vacuum that characterizes much contemporary academic thinking. In a recent issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, anthropologist Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban agonized over the fact that her discipline’s prime directive—cultural relativism—left her with no rationale for opposing rape or racial genocide in other cultures. One can almost hear Francis Schaeffer saying, “I told you so.”

In particular, he appears to have been prescient on the issue of human life. In 1976 he observed that “in regard to the fetus, the courts have arbitrarily separated ‘aliveness’ from ‘personhood,’ and if this is so, why not arbitrarily do the same with the aged? So the steps move along, and euthanasia may well become increasingly acceptable. And if so, why not keep alive the bodies of … persons in whom the brain wave is flat to harvest from them body parts and blood?” Schaeffer’s bleak vision is now daily news. “Cadaver Jack” Kevorkian has already killed more people than Ted Bundy, but the state of Michigan cannot muster the political will to stop him. A federal court has forbidden the state of Washington to pass laws preventing doctors from killing their patients, while the University of Washington is permitted to scavenge and sell the body parts of thousands of aborted children every year.

What Ever Happened to the Human Race?

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