Remembering Jack Kevorkian in Wake of BC Supreme Court Decision

Dr. Jack Kevorkian died at age 83, June 3, 2011 at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan where he had been hospitalized with kidney and heart problems.

Known world-wide as the advocate of assisted suicide, he was nicknamed Dr. Death.

A pathologist by profession, Kevorkian took a public stand about euthanasia in the 1980s.

He assisted a in a Portland, Oregon woman’s suicide in 1990. The Groveland Township resident was the first of over 130 suicides he assisted in over the next 10 years.

Convicted in 1999 of second-degree murder of Thomas Youk, a man who had Lou Gehrig’s disease,  Kevorkian served more than eight years in prison.

Knowing that MS doesn’t shorten our life expectancy, but often diminishes our quality of life and now with the recent news of the court in Canada who ruled in favor of “dying with dignity” I’m really thinking.

Telling everyone as Gloria Taylor did that a quiet painless death is our right, Kevorkian had a lot of followers.

The patients that he assisted were not even all terminally ill, in the sense of having been given a terminal prognosis. Some were just miserable and really were ready to die – and in Kevorkian they saw a sure thing. He had a reputation, all of his patients got what they wanted.

According to friends and relatives of the patients that he provided his controversial services to, Kevorkian was the first doctor who really listened to them, who offered them a sense of hope and power over their lives.

Those who were not terminal cases feared they were doomed to a wretched, dependent existence because of illness, and that they would become a burden on others or be left alone and helpless.

They wanted a solution that Kevorkian offered and no other doctors would give them.

I believe many people still want it, even if they may not publicly say so, and three states, Oregon, Washington, and Montana now provide death with dignity laws.

Dr. Oz, in his episode with Montel Williams and Dr. Keith Ablow revealed that 54% of people think physician assisted suicide is a valid and logical part of being a doctor. Montel and many others would just like the option to take a lethal cocktail and fade off into the sunset if they decide living is too painful and they have no chance of recovery. Ablow believes that patients can just opt for refusing medical treatment.

Oz discusses the toll of this decision on families. “This whole discussion revolves around the meaning of the Hippocratic oath taken by doctors. What does the term “do no harm” mean? Is it meant that a doctor should do everything to prolong life, even if that life is severely handicapped?”

Personally I am with Dr. Keith Ablow, opting for no medical treatment. I have my living will and you can get free living will form here too.   I stated that I chose not  to be put on any life support.

I believe that life is sacred, God’s gift to us. The Lord does not always heal the sick. He does not always relieve suffering and distress. These may be part of a purposeful plan. Suffering can make saints of people as we learn patience, long suffering, and self-mastery.

I believe that we have no more right to die than we had to be born.

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,  I stand and say, “I believe we need to stay alive until the Lord takes us back.” I will accept the love, support  and help from family, friends or paid staff when necessary if my chronic condition turns into a terminal illness.  I have a respect for life. It’s the process of mortality.

I’m VERY curious about what you believe about this issue!

If you know me, you’ll know there is no judgment.  I have no desire to persuade you to agree with me, I just like to understand where you’re coming from. If you don’t already know this about me, here’s a chance for us to get acquainted!

Please honestly tell me what you think about physician-assisted suicide.

Linda

About our Co-Founder: With a bachelors in Social Work, Linda is 53 years old, happily married with eight children and 17 grandchildren. Diagnosed with MS in 1995 and now having accepted and truly embraced her new reality, Linda has created MSrelief.com. She is dedicated to proving that joy can be chosen while living with Multiple Sclerosis. Linda specializes in helping others, especially those with MS attain the lifestyle, independence and happiness amid living with MS.

3 Comments:

  1. Wow Linda! What a hot topic! I’m sure that this BC Supreme Court Decision is causing quite a ripple across the net this past week. Thanks for opening a dialogue here at MSrelief.com about this very controversial issue.

    I have to say that my perspective is very different from yours Linda. If it were up to me, it would be a “right to chose” issue. I personally watched both of my parents die in a state of pain, powerlessness and total lack of dignity.

    While I realize that ultimately suicide is a sin in probably every religion on earth, the God that lives in my heart would have mercy on the suffering and forgive them for their “weakness”.

    When my mom was diagnosed terminal she told me, “I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of what comes between living and dying from here.” Gratefully, the Lord took her after only 5 short weeks of suffering but had that period of unbearable suffering lasted months or years, I have no doubt in my mind that, given the option, she would have chosen to die on her own terms.

    And I can honestly say that under those same circumstances, I would expect to feel the same way. As a society, we say that euthanizing an animal that is suffering with no quality of life is the most humane thing to do but its illegal to give our human loved ones the same humane treatment.

    I suspect that this BC ruling is going to bring about a louder national and international discussion on this highly controversial issue. As it should IMHO.

    ~Trish:-)

    • Trish~
      Thank you for sharing~ I can see you have a life-time worth of experiences to decide! These are painful memories and I really appreciate you sharing, I feel like I know you even better!

  2. Now I am going to do my breakfast, when having my breakfast coming over
    again to read further news.

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