Euthanasia and assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian, also known as Dr. Death, died on June 3rd at the age of 83 at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. Kevorkian was involved in more than 100 assisted suicides where he provided the use of his suicide machine, the “mercitron”, so that people could kill themselves by releasing lethal drugs or carbon monoxide.
Kevorkian claimed to have been involved with 130 assisted suicides. Some of his victims were depressed, disabled, confused. One victim Janet Adkins, 54 years of age, suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. According to an article in the Ottawa Citizen, Kevorkian made a video of Janet Adkins’ death in 1990:
“In it, Kevorkian appeared to goad the clearly confused woman into saying that she wanted to end her life”
The more than 100 individuals who died as a result of Kevorkian assisted suicides were often reported to have been terminally ill. However in 2000, the findings of a study by a team at the University of South Florida revealed that autopsies performed on 69 of Kevorkian’s “patients” showed that only 17 were terminally ill. In five cases, autopsies could find no presence of physical disease.
In 1999, Kevorkian killed Thomas Youk, a man with Lou Gehrig’s disease by fatal injection.
CBS Television aired the tape showing the euthanasia of Thomas Youk on its 60 Minutes program.
Kevorkian was subsequently charged with murder and sentenced to prison in Michigan. He was released on parole in 2007.
Kevorkian had manifested an obsession with death throughout his adult life.