Monday, June 14, 2010

“We are all terminal”

According to Jack Kevorkian, that is. CNN has Sanjay Gupta’s report on a recent interview he did with Dr. Death. It has some of the usual crazy Kevorkian ramblings (he is now calling his assisted suicide work “patholysis”) but it also clearly illustrates that Kevorkian didn’t give a hoot if the people he helped kill had any kind of physical ailment.
It was about an hour into the interview when I realized Kevorkian was trying to make a broader point. It started when I cited a study about the people he had "patholysed."

"It says here that in at least five of the people, there was no evidence of any disease on autopsy."

I let that hang in the air for a second. He seemed a little stunned that I had found this study. He shook his head slightly, and looked again at his lawyer, with no intention of addressing the point I had just made.

"Recently, I had three former CEOs of companies -- perfectly healthy -- who called me up and told me they wish to die." He let that sink in.

It was my turn to be stunned. "So... what did you do? What did you tell them?" I asked gently.

"No, nothing," he said with a dismissive wave of his hand. "I didn't do anything, but people have their rights."


His second mission is to educate people about patholysis. "They just don't get it in Oregon, " he said. "Or in Washington state or Montana, the other states," where assisted suicide has been legalized. In those states, a person has to be considered terminal in order to qualify for assisted suicide.

"What difference does it make if someone is terminal?" he said. "We are all terminal."

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