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Thread: kevorkian

  1. #11
    I am glad you didnt bring this up in Christina's thread. I am the one that referred to Kevorkian..in it..I have always admired him and was very angry they jailed him. I am sorry you were offended. I did consider taking the time to read the threads..but with due respect to your views..I really do not wish to read more about it...I have watched his documentary, seen him interviewed many many times ..and heard from those whom he assisted. I do not want to read him being slandered. Bottom line is..what he believed in would be and should be allowed in this country. Death with dignity and assisted if not able to be carried out independently.
    "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ~Carlos Castaneda

  2. #12
    ask yourselves a few questions:

    do you know how he earned the nickname "dr. death"?

    do you know what he proposed to do with prisoners on death row?

    do you know how much (or little) he actually practiced in his field?

    have you read his own writings from about 1958 on? (there's plenty to read).

    if you haven't done these things, there's not much left to say. and no, i didn't start this thread to debate death with dignity. i just can't stand this man being associated with dignity.

  3. #13
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    I used to hate him .. but in my twentieth year for a few months, I carried around his phone number in my wallet (I was going through a rough time having just moved out on my own a couple of years before). It was after Bastien because I knew someone who knew that victim (he had MS).

    Didn't think it was right to kill even the terminally ill as I thought suffering was a part of life (ugh - still struggling with faith then; now atheist) ... but I changed my attitude 180° after the documentary/movie 'You Don't Know Jack' and 'To Die in Oregon.'

    He wanted to force people to face this issue and for that I applaud him ... no doubt his name will be tied to 'right to die' issues for a long, long time whether we like it or not.

    If that show was true to form, he wouldn't just accept anyone to help end their life. Seeing people suffer in both films was gut-wrenching and awful.

    I want the option and I think we should have a right to it - everyone.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  4. #14
    don't rely on films, lynnifer. again, this thread is only about kevorkian. he wasn't about forcing ppl to face anything. he jumped on that bandwagon. again, ask yourself those questions.

    btw, i don't hate him. i hate him being associated with death with dignity.

  5. #15
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    We should all have the right to die with dignity. Both of these movies made quite an impression on me. Just my 2 cents.


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    Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1981) R
    Sculptor Ken Harrison (Richard Dreyfuss) is paralyzed in a car accident and left unable to do anything but speak. Now, he just wants to die, but no one will allow it, including his doctor (Christine Lahti) and the hospital's chief of staff (John Cassavetes). Harrison's fight for the right to control his destiny takes him all the way to court. Bob Balaban and Kaki Hunter co-star in this moving adaptation of Brian Clark's play.
    Genre:Dramas, Tearjerkers
    Availability:DVD In Queue
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    'night, Mother (1986) PG-13Jessie Cates (Sissy Spacek), an unemployed epileptic with a failed marriage and a deeply troubled son, tells her mother, Thelma (Anne Bancroft, in a Golden Globe-nominated performance), that she plans to kill herself before the night is over. Thelma tries to convince her daughter life is worth living, but Jessie remains resolute. Directed by Tom Moore, this gripping film was adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Marsha Norman.
    Genre:Dramas, TearjerkersThis movie is:Emotional, DarkAvailability:DVD

  6. #16
    Senior Member NikkiMaya's Avatar
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    Kevorkian: My On Take

    It's too bad this conversation has gotten a little divisive, because Kevorkian and the "right to die," are crucial topics. It would be great to continue the dialogue. I think many people here have made meaningful contributions.

    I will speak for myself, and say that I agree with some of what Cass said. Jack Kevorkian was and continues to be a polarizing figure. There are many reasons why some people, including myself, find him and his "work" problematic.

    Firstly, one of the serious charges leveled against Kevorkian was that he violated many of the guidelines that he himself put in place to protect the people he assisted with suicide. For example, he sometimes failed to consult psychiatrists when working with clients, some of whom were depressed. A 1997 Detroit Free Press investigation found 19 cases where Kevorkian failed to consult with a psychiatrist before assisting in the suicide of a client. In five of those cases, the deceased had a history of depression. Kevorkian himself had established in 1992 that it would be mandatory to consult with a psychiatrist, because a "person's mental state is of paramount importance." This shows that not only was Kevorkian sloppy as a physician, he bypassed necessary safeguards for vulnerable clients, which I find incredibly disturbing. If he had carried through on the checks and balances that were built into his system, such as having all of his clients see a psychiatrist, and having patients in pain go to a pain clinic, it is possible that some and even many of his clients may not have need his assistance with suicide. Why wasn't he more thorough when it came to life and death decisions? Especially when he knew he was under constant scrutiny?

    Another damning charge was the fact that Kevorkian often rushed the assisted suicide process, and failed to observe his own minimum waiting periods before allowing people to die. The Free press reported that, "Kevorkian previously stated that after signing a formal request, a person must always wait at least 24 hours before getting help to commit suicide." But they found 17 instances where Kevorkian's first meeting with the client was also their last. In at least five cases, the waiting period was less than three hours. Why does that matter? Not only does it violate Kevorkian's personal guidelines, but it would seem that the 24-hour waiting period would help to prevent clients from making impulsive decisions about suicide.

    Le Type Français commented, in response to Cass's second post, "What does not being terminal have to do with it?" First of all, I won't argue with anyone that any person who wants to die should be allowed to do so in a humane manner. But what Cass was trying to say, I believe, is that a sizable number of Kevorkian's client's upon autopsy actually had no discernible medical disease or had a problem that was highly treatable. Again, this does not mean that they shouldn't have been allowed to commit suicide. These facts go to the heart of the debate about Jack Kevorkian and his work. Kevorkian was a master at framing his "death with dignity" cause and surrounding debate. Telling the public that he was helping people to commit suicide when they had no known medical issues would likely not have gone over so well. The vast majority of the public was and likely still is under the impression that Kevorkian helped people who were terminally ill. If people had known that multiple patients were healthy or could have been helped, there might have been a sea change in the nation-wide support for him.

    Getting factual information on Kevorkian from films can be a bit more tricky. "You Don't Know Jack," is a hagiography from HBO, starring Al Pacino as Jack Kevorkian. It is hardly unbiased, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone seeking a neutral point of view. I have not seen the HBO documentary that Sherocksandsherolls mentioned. I did watch the trailer. It was only one minute long, and did look like it took a positive angle. We have to remember as viewers that even documentaries can be presented with motivations and a slant. I put the film in my Netfix queue and will look forward to watching when it becomes available. The other film mentioned by Lynnifer, "How to Die In Oregon," is not explicitly about Kevorkian. It is about right to die issues and covers Oregon's Death With Dignity Act that allows terminally ill patients to end their own life with medication prescribed by their physician. I haven't seen this one either, but will be looking for it when it becomes available, also. Lynnifer, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the film if you wouldn't mind sharing them.

    I could continue on expounding on why I feel Kevorkian betrayed vulnerable groups of people i.e. those who were suicidal, addicted to drugs and alcohol, in abusive relationships, had terminal illnesses, severe disabilities, suffered from chronic pain, etc. but I think I have offered several compelling reasons why he should not be the face of a "death with dignity" movement.

    Finally, I do think there has been one strikingly positive result of Jack Kevorkian's assisted suicides. He was a larger than life figure, so to speak, and his four highly visible criminal trials and subsequent incarceration sparked a media frenzy. The result has been a shift in Kevorkian's lifetime, from near silence on the issue of a person's right to die, to vigorous public debate, along with legislation (negative and positive) in states across the country. Jack Kevorkian, whether we like him or not, essentially put this issue on the map.

    Thanks for listening to my long-winded views! I know that this is an emotionally charged issue, but I hope that we can continue a polite conversation.
    In our world constituted of differences of all kinds, it is not the disabled, but society at large that needs special education...to become a genuine society for all. -Frederic Major, Former UNESCO Director General

  7. #17
    Senior Member NikkiMaya's Avatar
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    Here is a link to the 1997 Detroit Free Press investigative journalism article on Jack Kevorkian. I'm not sure how many parts in the series there were, but this is part one and it is fairly exhaustive:

    "Suicide Machine:Kevorkian Rushes to Fulfill His Clients' Desire to Die"

    http://www.freep.com/article/2007052...nts-desire-die
    In our world constituted of differences of all kinds, it is not the disabled, but society at large that needs special education...to become a genuine society for all. -Frederic Major, Former UNESCO Director General

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by NikkiMaya View Post
    I could continue on expounding on why I feel Kevorkian betrayed vulnerable groups of people i.e. those who were suicidal, addicted to drugs and alcohol, in abusive relationships, had terminal illnesses, severe disabilities, suffered from chronic pain, etc. but I think I have offered several compelling reasons why he should not be the face of a "death with dignity" movement.

    Finally, I do think there has been one strikingly positive result of Jack Kevorkian's assisted suicides. He was a larger than life figure, so to speak, and his four highly visible criminal trials and subsequent incarceration sparked a media frenzy. The result has been a shift in Kevorkian's lifetime, from near silence on the issue of a person's right to die, to vigorous public debate, along with legislation (negative and positive) in states across the country. Jack Kevorkian, whether we like him or not, essentially put this issue on the map.

    Thanks for listening to my long-winded views! I know that this is an emotionally charged issue, but I hope that we can continue a polite conversation.
    Your post's eloquence far exceeds its long-windedness . As I was reading it I was gathering thoughts to offer in response but your penultimate paragraph -- complete with the bolding for emphasis you provided -- captures perfectly what I would have labored to answer. As deeply flawed an individual as he may have been, if and when our culture evolves to the point of availing people with terminal illnesses the same death in dignity that we allow for our pets, the credit for that will in no small measure redound to his efforts. He will not be remembered for once recommending the harvesting of the organs of death row inmates or anything similarly outlandish. Deservedly so or not, he will be identified as the individual who raised -- no, vaulted -- the bar of awareness of what dignity in dying means despite his perversions. He was a flawed messenger (there are few perfect ones), but walked to walk. The guy had massive, arrogant balls and hopefully we will someday refine the work and message that will be duly credited to him.

    My best friend, a physician with a background in internal medicine, interventional cardiology, critical care and emergency medicine, someone who's witnessed a lot of physical suffering surrounding end-of-life medical care, believes Kevorkian will one day be regarded as a visionary. Intentionally or accidentally, Dr. Jack has advanced the cause of humanity and the more unsavory details of his biography will not likely obscure that.

  9. #19
    thank you again for this informative post! wow..you rock! (yeah I know my response is not competing on the "eloquence" writing level with you and Stephen..ll ) but hey we can't all be amazing writers! ) I just wanted to say appreciate you guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by NikkiMaya View Post
    It's too bad this conversation has gotten a little divisive, because Kevorkian and the "right to die," are crucial topics. It would be great to continue the dialogue. I think many people here have made meaningful contributions.

    I will speak for myself, and say that I agree with some of what Cass said. Jack Kevorkian was and continues to be a polarizing figure. There are many reasons why some people, including myself, find him and his "work" problematic.

    Firstly, one of the serious charges leveled against Kevorkian was that he violated many of the guidelines that he himself put in place to protect the people he assisted with suicide. For example, he sometimes failed to consult psychiatrists when working with clients, some of whom were depressed. A 1997 Detroit Free Press investigation found 19 cases where Kevorkian failed to consult with a psychiatrist before assisting in the suicide of a client. In five of those cases, the deceased had a history of depression. Kevorkian himself had established in 1992 that it would be mandatory to consult with a psychiatrist, because a "person's mental state is of paramount importance." This shows that not only was Kevorkian sloppy as a physician, he bypassed necessary safeguards for vulnerable clients, which I find incredibly disturbing. If he had carried through on the checks and balances that were built into his system, such as having all of his clients see a psychiatrist, and having patients in pain go to a pain clinic, it is possible that some and even many of his clients may not have need his assistance with suicide. Why wasn't he more thorough when it came to life and death decisions? Especially when he knew he was under constant scrutiny?

    Another damning charge was the fact that Kevorkian often rushed the assisted suicide process, and failed to observe his own minimum waiting periods before allowing people to die. The Free press reported that, "Kevorkian previously stated that after signing a formal request, a person must always wait at least 24 hours before getting help to commit suicide." But they found 17 instances where Kevorkian's first meeting with the client was also their last. In at least five cases, the waiting period was less than three hours. Why does that matter? Not only does it violate Kevorkian's personal guidelines, but it would seem that the 24-hour waiting period would help to prevent clients from making impulsive decisions about suicide.

    Le Type Français commented, in response to Cass's second post, "What does not being terminal have to do with it?" First of all, I won't argue with anyone that any person who wants to die should be allowed to do so in a humane manner. But what Cass was trying to say, I believe, is that a sizable number of Kevorkian's client's upon autopsy actually had no discernible medical disease or had a problem that was highly treatable. Again, this does not mean that they shouldn't have been allowed to commit suicide. These facts go to the heart of the debate about Jack Kevorkian and his work. Kevorkian was a master at framing his "death with dignity" cause and surrounding debate. Telling the public that he was helping people to commit suicide when they had no known medical issues would likely not have gone over so well. The vast majority of the public was and likely still is under the impression that Kevorkian helped people who were terminally ill. If people had known that multiple patients were healthy or could have been helped, there might have been a sea change in the nation-wide support for him.

    Getting factual information on Kevorkian from films can be a bit more tricky. "You Don't Know Jack," is a hagiography from HBO, starring Al Pacino as Jack Kevorkian. It is hardly unbiased, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone seeking a neutral point of view. I have not seen the HBO documentary that Sherocksandsherolls mentioned. I did watch the trailer. It was only one minute long, and did look like it took a positive angle. We have to remember as viewers that even documentaries can be presented with motivations and a slant. I put the film in my Netfix queue and will look forward to watching when it becomes available. The other film mentioned by Lynnifer, "How to Die In Oregon," is not explicitly about Kevorkian. It is about right to die issues and covers Oregon's Death With Dignity Act that allows terminally ill patients to end their own life with medication prescribed by their physician. I haven't seen this one either, but will be looking for it when it becomes available, also. Lynnifer, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the film if you wouldn't mind sharing them.

    I could continue on expounding on why I feel Kevorkian betrayed vulnerable groups of people i.e. those who were suicidal, addicted to drugs and alcohol, in abusive relationships, had terminal illnesses, severe disabilities, suffered from chronic pain, etc. but I think I have offered several compelling reasons why he should not be the face of a "death with dignity" movement.

    Finally, I do think there has been one strikingly positive result of Jack Kevorkian's assisted suicides. He was a larger than life figure, so to speak, and his four highly visible criminal trials and subsequent incarceration sparked a media frenzy. The result has been a shift in Kevorkian's lifetime, from near silence on the issue of a person's right to die, to vigorous public debate, along with legislation (negative and positive) in states across the country. Jack Kevorkian, whether we like him or not, essentially put this issue on the map.

    Thanks for listening to my long-winded views! I know that this is an emotionally charged issue, but I hope that we can continue a polite conversation.
    "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ~Carlos Castaneda

  10. #20
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Again ...

    Quote Originally Posted by lynnifer View Post
    He wanted to force people to face this issue and for that I applaud him ... no doubt his name will be tied to 'right to die' issues for a long, long time whether we like it or not.
    All I remember from 'How to Die in Oregon' was the mother they profiled for the last half of the program. She had a son and daughter and was married. She tried to hang on with cancer as long as she could but when the pain became too unbearable, she died in her own bed at home, surrounded by her family on her own defined time and place. They didn't show it, but only provided the sound as her family said goodbye and her children cried at her passing.

    She was a beautiful soul. Kudos to them for sharing their experience and trying to progress the conversation as well.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

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