by Andrew Stuttaford
Wesley, you write that Kevorkian’s more important place in contemporary history was “as a dark mirror that reflected how powerful the avoidance of suffering has become as a driving force in society.”  I’ll give you the “dark mirror.” Kevorkian was a very odd bird indeed, but count me less convinced than you about the importance that “society” (at least the politicians that presume to represent it) really attaches to the avoidance (more accurately, alleviation) of suffering. From the excesses of the government’s war against painkillers to the almost unsurmountable obstacles that the state places in the way of a terminally ill individual who wishes to end it all but (due to physical impairment) is unable to do so, at least some of the evidence would appear to suggest something rather different.

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