Last updated on: 6/3/2011 | Author: ProCon.org

Jack Kevorkian, MD Biography

Title:
Former Pathologist
Position:
Pro to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"
Reasoning:

“Kevorkian: …I didn’t do it to end the life. I did it to end the suffering the patient is going through. The patient is obviously suffering. What’s a doctor supposed to do, turn his back? If he’s a coward he is…

Cooper: So will you build another [suicide] machine?

Kevorkian: I don’t need a machine. A doctor can do the injecting. The machine was just to avoid being charged with having committed the crime.

Cooper: But you don’t have access to the pharmaceuticals anymore, do you?

Kevorkian: Not yet. But if it were legal, in other words, if the law stepped out of the picture, if religion stopped pushing this opposition, then we could do it like a regular medical procedure, which it should be.”

Interview with Anderson Cooper, Anderson Cooper 360, Apr. 16, 2010

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Former pathologist
  • Recipient, Gleitsman Foundation Citizen Activist Award, 2000
  • Recipient, Humanist Hero Award, American Humanist Association, 1994
  • Has admitted to aiding over 130 people in dying
  • Former physician consultant for death counseling
  • Spent two years of residency at Pontiac General Hospital
  • Former Intern, Henry Ford Hospital
  • Army Medical Officer, Korea, 1953-1954
Education:
  • MD, University of Michigan Medical School, 1952
  • Undergraduate degree, University of Michigan
Other:
  • Died at age 83, June 3, 2011
  • Paroled from prison after serving an eight-year sentence, June 1, 2007
  • Michigan Supreme Court rejected Kevorkian’s request for a new trial, Apr. 11, 2002
  • Michigan Court of Appeals upheld Kevorkian’s conviction, Nov. 22, 2001
  • Convicted of second-degree murder for delivery of a controlled substance in the death of Youk, sentenced to 10-25 years in prison, Apr. 13, 1999
  • Charged with first-degree murder, violating the assisted suicide law and delivering a controlled substance without a license in the death of Thomas Youk, Nov. 25, 1998
  • Faced four felony counts in the assisted suicide of Loretta Peabody; a mistrial was declared, June 12, 1997
  • Acquitted in the 1991 assisted suicides of Sherry Miller and Marjorie Wantz, May 14, 1996
  • Acquitted of criminal charges in assisting the suicides of Merian Frederick and Ali A. Khalili, Mar. 8, 1996
  • Acquitted of criminal charges in assisting the suicide of Thomas Hyde, May 2, 1994
  • Michigan Board of Medicine indefinitely suspended Kevorkian’s license to practice medicine in Michigan, Nov. 20, 1991
  • Aided in the first assisted-suicide case with the death of Janet Adkins, June 4, 1990
Quoted in:
  1. Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?
  2. Did Dr. Jack Kevorkian Ethically Serve the Best Interests of His Patients?