Last updated on: 6/3/2011 9:53:11 AM PST
Who Was Dr. Jack Kevorkian?


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

Dr. Jack Kevorkian poses with his "suicide machine" in Michigan on Feb. 6, 1991
Source: "Assisted-suicide Advocate Kevorkian to Be Released," USA Today, May 29, 2007
[Editor’s Note: Dr. Jack Kevorkian died on June 3, 2011 in Royal Oak, Michigan at age 83.]


Gale, an e-research and educational publishing company, wrote in a Feb. 2, 2008 American Decades 1990-1999 article titled "Jack Kevorkian" on Gale's website:

"On Sunday night, November 22, 1998, viewers of the CBS television program 60 Minutes watched in horror as Dr. Jack Kevorkian killed fifty-two-year-old Thomas Youk. Youk, suffering from... Lou Gehrig's disease, had asked Kevorkian to end his life, and Kevorkian complied by injecting him with poison to stop his heart.

Youk was not the first person Kevorkian had helped to die, but he was likely the last. In 1999, the seventy-year-old Kevorkian was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to jail for ten to twenty-five years.

What Kevorkian had done was deliberately...hasten another person's death, an act of active 'euthanasia'... Acquitted of the charge of assisting suicide by three juries in the 1990s, Kevorkian crossed the line in 1998 by not only administering the lethal injection but also videotaping Youk's death and defying prosecutors to charge him. Kevorkian's goal in life is to overturn America's laws prohibiting both active euthanasia and assisted suicide."

Feb. 2, 2008 - Gale 

The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), in a Nov. 26, 1998 article titled "Profile: 'Dr. Death'," wrote:

"Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a 70-year-old retired pathologist, has devoted most of his life to the campaign for assisted suicide...

Dr. Kevorkian became the chief pathologist of Saratoga General Hospital in Detroit in 1970, but he quit his career a few years later, travelled to California, and invested his life savings in directing and producing a feature movie based on Handel's Messiah.

With no distributor, the movie flopped.

He started writing about euthanasia in the 1980s, first in an obscure German journal Medicine and Law, outlining for example his proposed system of planned deaths in suicide clinics, including medical experimentation on patients.

Dr. Kevorkian has admitted helping more than 130 people to end their lives.

The first suicide he was involved in was the 1990 death of Jane Adkins, 54, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. She died in Dr. Kevorkian's Volkswagen van in Groveland Oaks Park near Holly, Michigan.

Her death was assisted by a 'suicide machine' - built by Dr. Kevorkian using $30 worth of scrap parts from garage sales and hardware stores at his kitchen table...

In 1995, he even opened a 'suicide clinic' in a office in Springfield Township, Michigan, but was booted out by the building's owner a few days after his first client died."

Nov. 26, 1998 - BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) 

60 Minutes and Vanity Fair found in a Feb. 26 - Mar. 1, 2010 telephone poll of 967 randomly sampled adults nationwide the following results in reponse to the question "Jack Kevorkian is a doctor who claims to have assisted in more than 100 patient suicides. Which of the following comes closest to YOUR OPINION OF JACK KEVORKIAN?":


All Men Women Republicans Democrats Independent Libertarian
Not as bad as he's made out to be 40% 47% 45% 40% 38% 41% 44%
Egomaniac who takes advantage of sick people 34% 31% 38% 42% 38% 27% 24%
Humane and principled medical professional 15% 16% 13% 9% 13% 19% 23%
Not all results total 100% as some low-percentage answer choices have been omitted by 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair.


Feb. 26 - Mar. 1, 2010 - 60 Minutes 
Vanity Fair