Jack Kevorkian, Assisted Suicide Doctor and Defender, Dead at 83


Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the controversial star of our nation’s fight over euthanasia, or assisted suicide, died on Friday morning in Michigan, his lawyer said. He was 83. Dr. Kevorkian’s health “had been worsening,” the New York Times reports, but no cause of death is yet known. Kevorkian lived a hell of a life, fighting for the right to end the lives of the terminally ill, if that’s what they wanted, and even served eight years in prison for second-degree murder. “As a result of his stubborn and often intemperate advocacy for the right of the terminally ill to choose how they die,” the Times writes, “hospice care has boomed in the United States, and physicians have become more sympathetic to their pain and more willing to prescribe medication to relieve it.” And after Al Pacino plays you, you’re pretty much set. Back in 1990, after his first assisted suicide, Kevorkian told the Times, “They’ll all be after me for this.” [NYT]