Last updated on: 4/28/2010 | Author: ProCon.org

Terry Youk Biography

Title:
Brother of Thomas Youk, a Lou Gehrig's Disease sufferer whose videotaped euthanasia by Dr. Jack Kevorkian prompted Kevorkian's 1999 second-degree murder trial and conviction
Position:
Pro to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"
Reasoning:

“I of course felt that Jack [Kevorkian] never should have gone to prison I don’t believe that the medical service he provided for my brother and others is a crime. I think people will look back and see that Jack was the only person that was willing to stand up during a divisive time and fight for what should be a right for all human beings to have choices at the end of their life.

I think Jack provided for people that had fallen through the cracks of the health care system a way to die with some peace and dignity. Ultimately, Jack Kevorkian was our only option… It is all well and good to suggest that people should have had available better palliative medical care – but the truth is that it wasn’t available, the system had failed them and continues to fail them. And for many like my brother, some symptoms defy effective treatment – like phantom nerve pain and choking that plague many ALS [Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease] patients. So, what should they have done when the medical system had stopped listening?

I am very grateful to Jack Kevorkian. I feel like he was a compassionate practitioner for my brother at the end of his life.”

Terry Youk, in an Apr. 27, 2010 email to ProCon.org, supplemented a transcript of a Feb. 25, 2009 interview on CBS News Online.

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
  Organizations/VIPs/Others
Individuals and organizations that do not fit into the other star categories.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Brother of Thomas Youk, a Lou Gehrig’s Disease sufferer whose videotaped euthanasia by Dr. Jack Kevorkian prompted Kevorkian’s 1999 first-degree murder trial and conviction
  • Owner and Manager, Brook Hollow Productions
  • Owner, Savoy Theater (Montpelier, VT)
  • Producer, director, and filmmaker
  • Has produced programs for PBS, A&E, and the Wisdon Channel
  • Began working in film and television in 1985
Education:
  • None found
Other:
  • Judge Jessica Cooper prohibited Terry Youk from testifying during Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s 1999 trial, calling his testimony irrelevant to a murder case.
Quoted in:
  1. Did Dr. Jack Kevorkian Ethically Serve the Best Interests of His Patients?