There are some who claim that there is little connection between Jack Kevorkian and most euthanasia/assisted suicide advocates. Don’t you believe it. Kevorkian merely had the temerity to actually do what most believe should be allowed to be done.
As evidence, here are relevant excerpts from a press release issued by Big Daddy Assisted Suicide, Derek Humphry–founder of the Hemlock Society, renamed Compassion and Choices:
Dr Jack Kevorkian free at last (on 1 June 07): The Euthanasia Research and Guidance Organization (ERGO) heartily welcomes the release from prison on parole of Dr. Jack Kevorkian after serving eight years of a 10-25 years sentence in Michigan, USA. We hope that he can enjoy a well-deserved retirement–he is 79–amongst his friends and supporters. In a better environment we trust his health will improve. According to the existing letter of the law, Dr. Kevorkian was correctly convicted of murder. But for those who saw his helping a man dying in great pain and distress, and asking to die now, his action was justified and merciful. This case made clear that the laws governing homicide need modifying to allow a plea of mercy killing, allowing juries to decide…The one undoubted benefit of his ten-year solo euthanasia campaign in the 1990s was making the general public aware of the unrecognized suffering of many dying people, and that physician-assisted suicide was oftentimes their choice of dealing with it. Kevorkian’s hugely popular voice could be influential in future attempts at law reform.
Of course, the majority of Kevorkian’s “patients” were not terminally ill. Some were not even sick, based on their autopsies. Moreover, Kevorkian was an advocate of an almost unfettered death on demand, as I will outline in an upcoming piece. So too, is much of the euthanasia movement, either explicitly or implicitly, based on euthanasia ideology and advocacy. Kevorkian is just more candid than most.
Meanwhile, Compassion and Choices–less candid and more politically astute than Humphry–merely announced the parole and advocated that the supposedly seriously ill Kevorkian have access to assisted suicide.
Suffering from diabetes and active hepatitis C, the 78-year-old Kevorkian is not expected to live more than a year. Compassion & Choices believes he deserves the same chance for a peaceful, dignified death [euphemistic buzz term for poisoning by drug overdose] that is the right of all people.
But with Kevorkian reportedly to get $50,000 or more per speech, don’t expect that “death with dignity” any time soon.