Difference between revisions of "Jack Kevorkian"
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... were assisted by means of a device which employed a needle and delivered the euthanizing drugs mechanically through an IV. Kevorkian called it a "Thanatron" (death machine). Other patients were assisted by a device which employed a gas mask fed by a canister of carbon monoxide which was called "Mercitron" (mercy machine). This became necessary because Kevorkian's medical license had been revoked after the first two deaths, and he could no longer get the substances required for "Thanatron".
During much of this period, Kevorkian was represented by attorney Geoffrey Fieger.
Kevorkian was in an adult education oil painting course in Pontiac, Michigan in the 1960s. His art combines his knowledge of human anatomy with his fascination with death . Michael Betzold described the 18 canvases he created in this course as "bold and strident, as critical and unforgiving, as pointed and dramatic as Kevorkian's own fighting words. They are strikingly well executed — stark and surreal — and frightening, demented and/or hilarious, depending on one's point of view".
Although the 18 original canvases have been lost, Kevorkian returned to his art in the 1990s to finance his crusade for assisted-suicide.
His art frequently returns to themes of hypocrisy, pain, war, death, self-destruction, suicide, despair and criticisms of contemporary culture and Christianity.
One of his paintings was used on the cover of Acid Bath's album Paegan Terrorism Tactics.
Kevorkian also released a jazz album entitled "A Very Still Life" on which he plays the flute.
Parody & Spoofs
- In post production at the moment, the film "Cold Side of the Pillow" has actor Paul David Richter portray Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Directed by Attila Kállai, produced by Atka Films, Sillycod Prod, Cineworks, UBCP, and associate produced by Legacy Entertainment. love u
- Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying by Derek Humphry. ISBN 0-385-33653-5.
- Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide (For and Against) by Gerald Dworkin, R. G. Frey (Series Editor), Sissela Bok, 1998: ISBN 0-521-58789-1.
- Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Anatomy of a Constitutional Law Issue by Arthur Gordon Svenson and Susan M. Behuniak. ISBN 0-7425-1725-X.
- Assisted Suicide and the Right to Die: The Interface of Social Science, Public Policy, and Medical Ethics by Barry Rosenfeld PhD, 2004 ISBN 1-59147-102-8.
- Forced Exit : The Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder by Wesley J. Smith, 1997. ISBN 0-8129-2790-7.
- "A View to a Kill" by Wesley J. Smith, National Review Online, December 14, 2005, retrieved December 14, 2005.
- Appointment With Dr. Death by Michael Betzold
Friends start 'Free Dr. Jack' letter campaign
The Oakland Press (Oakland County, Michigan) Sunday, April 11, 2004
By TRACY WARD of The Oakland Press
On this day, they're at Marinelli's restaurant in Troy, talking over hamburgers and coffee, passing "Free Dr. Jack" bumper stickers up and down the long table.
"We've been quiet because we didn't want to interrupt the legal end of it," said Zorob "Zip" Kabodian, 78, a retired aircraft mechanic who lives in Rochester Hills. "And now we can't do any harm. We're going to let people know we care. Jack will know we care."
The group, which still meets weekly after all these years, has great memories of Kevorkian. The Pontiac neighborhood where they grew up, near Franklin and Harrison streets, was mixed with new immigrants. It was the 1930s and everybody, thanks to the Depression, was broke, but everybody was in the same boat.
"We didn't have bicycles," Sally Kabodian said. "I can remember a neighbor did, and the kids would get up early and line up at her house for a chance to ride it."
They were the children of Armenians who came to America after the Armenian Genocide of 1915, when 1.5 million people were killed by Ottoman Turks.
As children, most of them didn't speak English when they started at Wilson and Bagley Elementary schools - buildings that were torn down long ago.
Kids played "Kick-the-Can" in the street. They remember the time Jack Kevorkian tried to make a waterwheel in the creek at Pontiac's Dodge Park or worked on an electrical bicycle.
"I remember walking - six of us walking down the streets of Pontiac at night, talking about philosophy, life, everything," said Vanig Godoshian, 71, a retired communications engineer from Sylvan Lake. "Everybody looked up to Jack."
"He was so smart, so smart," said Sally Kabodian.
Other friends remember Kevorkian as warm-hearted but a loner.
Some group members are more zealous than others. The members - faithful Catholic or Armenian Orthodox who are proud, as many Armenians are, that their country was the first to adopt Christianity in 301 - even have different views on assisted suicide.
If he is released, would they want him involved in more assisted suicides, something Kevorkian has said he wouldn't do?
"Jack keeps his word," said one group member. "He would never disappoint his friends."
"I wouldn't want him to," said Zoe Dakesian, 81, whose late husband, Walter, grew up with Kevorkian in Pontiac.
Martin Krikorian, 78, a retired Oakland County mechanic, said he's willing to help.
"Well, he's Armenian," he said, giving a little shrug. "I believe in his work."
Kabodian said Kevorkian has paid his debt to society.
"He's paid his price. It's time for him to be released, to have a little peace and quiet in his later years," he said.
"He shouldn't have tried to be his own lawyer," said another friend, shaking his head.
"He's doing the right thing," said Nick Markarian, 73, of Warren. "If people are sick, why are they going to suffer? The patient asks him to save him so they don't suffer no more."
"There are worse crimes now," Zoe Dakesian said.
Godoshian said his friends asked Kevorkian not to push so hard, but he's hard-headed and once he makes up his mind, he's immovable.
The Kabodians said the group will mail letters to family and friends, to people on their Christmas lists, asking for support.
Zip Kabodian holds up an envelope. On it, he has sketched a jack-in-the-box with the words "Free Dr. Jack" written underneath.
"He puts that on every letter, every bill we send out," said his wife, with a smile.
"He's warm-hearted, compassionate and wants to help people," Kabodian said. "It's time for him to be released."
PHOTO CAPTION: Archie Hovsepian, 81, of Waterford Township (from left); John Kouzoujian, 77, of Troy; and Martin Krikorian, 78, of Troy (far right) ~K friends and supporters of Jack Kevorkian ~K meet at Marinelli's of Troy to discuss a campaign to free their old friend. -- The Daily Oakland Press / GARY MALERBA
Click here to read story: http://theoaklandpress.com/stories/041104/loc_20040411074.shtml
Dr. Death Movie
'Dr. Death' coming to big screen By Tatiana Siegel
Reuters/Hollywood Reporter Friday, October 28, 2005
An unpublished biography of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the incarcerated proponent of physician-assisted suicide, is being turned into a movie by Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple.
"You Don't Know Jack" will be based on the book of the same name, written by Kevorkian's assistant of 25 years, Neal Nicol, and the doctor's neighbor and lifelong friend, Harry Wylie. The project marks the first time the 77-year-old physician, nicknamed Dr. Death, has fully authorized anyone to tell his story.
"The film will examine the fascinating life of man who is a household name, yet no one knows his actual story," said the film's producer, Steve Jones. "It's not a film about euthanasia but instead a look at a passionate man who spent his entire life fighting for rights he believes that every human should have."
Kevorkian is serving the seventh year of a 15- to 25-year prison sentence.
Barbara Turner will write the script. Her credits include "Pollock," which garnered a best supporting actress Academy Award for Marcia Gay Harden. Kopple won her Oscars for "Harlan County, USA" and "American Dream."
Film to tell story of suicide doctor
United Press International October 27, 2005
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- A film adaptation is being made of the book "You Don't Know Jack," the story of Michigan suicide doctor, Jack Kevorkian.
Barbara Turner is adapting Hollywood's version of "Dr. Death," who ran afoul of the law by building a suicide machine to help terminally ill people end their own lives, the Hollywood Reporter said Thursday.
The drama is being directed by Barbara Kopple for Bee Holder Productions.
Bee Holder's Steve Jones owns the exclusive rights to the unpublished yet authorized book by Neal Nicol -- who assisted Kevorkian for 25 years -- and Kevorkian's lifelong friend, Harry Wylie.
Kevorkian, 77, was convicted of murder in 1999 and sentenced to 10-to-25 years in prison.
Parole board denies ailing Kevorkian
Associated Press 12-22-2005
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The state parole board rejected a request to pardon assisted-suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian or commute his sentence, despite warnings that he is in grave condition.
The 77-year-old former doctor is serving a 10- to 25-year prison sentence for murder for giving a fatal injection of drugs in 1998 to a man with Lou Gehrig's disease. Kevorkian is not eligible for parole until 2007.
His lawyer, Mayer Morganroth, warned last month that Kevorkian was in "dire shape" and might not live that long. Kevorkian suffers from high blood pressure, arthritis, cataracts, osteoporosis and Hepatitis C, the lawyer said.
But the parole board, in a 7-2 vote, recommended the governor deny the application, according to documents released Thursday.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm will follow the recommendation, as she has done with similar recommendations on Kevorkian in 2003 and 2004, spokeswoman Liz Boyd said.
"He did what was right for the people. They came to him. He didnt go around forcing people to let him kill them. But he does put a Bad name for the Armenians" --iveta
"I think the parole board is acting irresponsibly and outrageously," Morganroth said. "The doctor in the prison keeps telling us, 'What can I do to get him out? He shouldn't be in here.'"
DEATH BECOMES HIM: KEVORKIAN'S ARTWORK ON DISPLAY AT ARMENIAN LIBRARY David Gordon
Daily News Tribune Oct 05, 2008 @ 10:47 PM MA
Dr. Jack Kevorkian speaks to a large crowd at the Armenian Library yesterday about his art exhibit of paintings, which he is showing across the country.
WATERTOWN -- The dying Jack Kevorkian is trying to get his point across.
The man known in the 20th century as Dr. Death, marked the opening of his painting exhibition "The Doctor is Out," at Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown by speaking largely about his run for Congress in his home state in Michigan.
Greeted like a rock star yesterday afternoon, the 80-year-old Kevorkian, who fought and went to jail in his crusade for euthanasia, brushed the standing ovations, the crowd and the encomia aside.
"There's too much praise for someone doing their duty," Kevorkian said. "Courage is knowing what's right and doing it."
Diagnosed with a terminal case of Hepatitis C, Kevorkian knows he has limited time to get his message across.
"It scares me. I'm afraid it curtails my life," he said. "Dying in prison is a vacuous death. It's meaningless."
Charged with second-degree murder in 1999, he was released from prison last year.
Kevorkian is waging a campaign to bring his philosophy to the people, by discussing his paintings and run for office.
But don't call his pieces art.
Art takes training, Kevorkian told an audience of upwards of 300 people, packing the museum's lobby.
"It really isn't art. Its main mission is conveying a philosophic point. An abstract point," he said. "I call it pictorial philosophy."
By all accounts, that philosophy is indelibly linked to Kevorkian's years of suicide assistance, but not in the way one might think.
Several of his paintings are grim, depicting strong images. The piece representing Kevorkian's statement on war features a decapitated man with Ares, the Greek god of war, over one shoulder and his own head on a plate in front of him, apple in mouth.
To depict death, Kevorkian painted a man screaming as he falls to a black pit full of ghosts, his fingers clutching to cliffsides with such ferocity as to have rent the flesh from their tips.
Simultaneously political and philosophical, Kevorkian's basic perspective is unified by one idea: A rejection of fear and a powerful individual freedom.
"We have relinquished our rights because we've been trained to think that way," Kevorkian said.
American politics is ruled by fear, he said, and American people, and people of the world, are taught to be afraid of death.
"I think it carries a message," Kevorkian said of his art, "which is all I wanted."
"When death is approaching naturally, nature prepares you for it. You actually welcome it," Kevorkian said. "We'll go to any length to avoid it. Screaming, terrified, we'll go to any lengths to avoid it. Because we're taught that. Remember religion says it's our greatest enemy? Can you imagine that?"
Kevorkian said he had to be taken to prison to get his message out, that the American judicial system refuses to give people the right to die as they would see fit, and they are infringing on many other rights of Americans.
He wants to educate people about the value of the Ninth Amendment of the Constitution, which says the Constitution cannot infringe upon people's freedoms.
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people," it reads.
"That's where all the rights are for the people," Kevorkian said. " That's why it hasn't been used ... And that's one reason why I'm running: to educate the people more on the Constitutional right we have, of rights. We had it. We lost it. Can we get it back? Hard to say."
Kevorkian was trailed by documentary filmmakers, working on "Kevorkian," about his run for Congress he started after getting out of prison in 2007.
Producer Steve Jones said of Kevorkian, seemingly in awe, "he's fearless. Absolutely fearless."
Even if you don't agree with him, Jones said, you admire Kevorkian.
"No matter how controversial he is, he's so logical. It's very hard to refute him."
Nobody among the crowd tried to refute him. Perhaps the most famous Armenian American alive today, Kevorkian was greeted at the museum like a hero.
"He's among friends," Jones said. "He's one of their own."
Kevorkian, son of two immigrant survivors of the Armenian Genocide, turned to painting as a hobby, and produced 16 canvases over time. He donated all of them to the museum.
"He's a man of great integrity," said Brigham Moberly, who came from out of state to see Kevorkian, whom he admired for his political views. "He knows it's time for the revolution to begin."
Artist Katherine Keogh, who traveled with Moberly, said Kevorkian's art spoke to her.
"His artwork is amazingly poignant," she said. "He really, really strikes a chord with his paintings."