While the Rhode Island media covered the release of former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci with considerable overkill, they neglected to cover the release of the more notorious Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who after serving eight years for killing a patient, was set free last week. Kevorkian, known as “Dr. Death,” was sentenced to a 10- to 25-year prison term in 1999 after CBS News aired a video of him euthanizing a man suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease. He has stated that he will not engage in any more assisted suicides, but will travel across the nation to advocate for the legalization of assisted suicide.
Kevorkian was greeted with warm wishes from CBS journalist and assisted suicide proponent Mike Wallace, and is expected to appear on that network’s television program, 60 Minutes, in the near future.
Typically, Kevorkian is portrayed as a compassionate doctor who simply seeks to alleviate the suffering of terminally ill patients. However, the real history has shown that Kevorkian is in reality a “Dr. Death,” who preyed upon desperate, disabled and depressed patients, not with compassion but as part of his macabre experimentation with suicide machines.
Oregon is the only state in the nation with a physician-assisted suicide law, which has resulted in the legal killing of 292 terminally ill patients. Similar efforts to legalize assisted suicide have been defeated in California, Michigan, Maine, Vermont, Hawaii, Wisconsin and Washington. Legislative efforts to decriminalize or legalize assisted suicide have met fierce opposition from churches and religious leaders, doctors and the medical community, and the handicapped and disabled. This bulwark against the legalization of killing patients in the name of compassionate care has had great success because the likes of Dr. Death and his cohorts have been unveiled as the ghouls they truly are, seeking to kill patients rather than treat them.
Assisted suicide is an affront to the dignity of the human person, a crime against human life, and an attack upon all humanity. It must be rejected and repudiated by every politician, doctor, patient and person of good will in an effort to protect human life from its natural beginning to its natural end. Authentic compassionate care consists of killing the pain patients endure, not killing the patients themselves.
Dr. Jack Kevorkian is truly a Doctor of Death, and his release from prison should not be celebrated nor should his macabre message promoting the legal killing of patients be accepted. Dr. Death and his deadly message of euthanasia and assisted suicide are an unwelcome and unwanted assault upon all those who value and respect human life. Indeed, his release from prison is a dark day for all who believe in the sanctity of human life and the compassionate care of the terminally ill.