Human Exceptionalism

Kevorkian Views on Medicine Reflect Contemporary Anti-Professional Template as Order Takers

Jack Kevorkian, ever the compassionate one, has defended Michael Jackson’s doctor who may be charged with manslaughter in the singer’s death.  Why?  The doctor just gave Jackson “what he wanted,” e.g. powerful sedatives.  From the story:

Assisted-suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian defended the embattled doctor of Michael Jackson in an interview Wednesday, saying the pop star “got what he wanted.” In an interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, Kevorkian said he believed Dr. Conrad Murray did not act maliciously when sedating Jackson with several drugs. “Murder is defined as malice aforethought,” he said. “Did he have that aforethought? I doubt it.” [Me: Manslaughter does not require malice aforethought.]

Investigators say a mix of the powerful anesthetic propofol and another sedative killed Jackson. Murray has said he administered the drugs to help Jackson sleep. “Maybe Jackson craved these things so much he pestered the doctor until he got it,” Kevorkian said.

Oh, that’s okay, then.

But in fairness to Kevorkian, he is merely taking the ubiquitous “choice” mantra to the next step. Medicine is deprofessionalizing, with the field’s ethics increasingly focused on facilitating patient desires: abortion on demand–and medical associations objecting to conscience clauses that would permit doctors to opt out; assisted suicide on demand now on the horizon–with pressure already beginning to require doctor cooperation;  bioethicists and psychiatrists promoting the propriety of cutting off health limbs for patients with Body Identity Integrity Disorder (who obsess on being amputees); a mentally disturbed  mother who has 14 IVF children just because she wants to; a 62-year-old giving birth; the teenager who wants breast implants, etc.

Medicine is becoming an order-taking technocracy that not only heals and palliates, but facilitates lifestyle choices (with the notable exception of Futile Care Theory that would permit doctors to refuse to extend the life of patients with a low quality of life).  So, as distasteful as Kevorkian is, he increasingly appears to be the herald of a new medical age.