[HPN] [NH_ADAPT] Fw: Kevorkian Fact Sheet

William Tinker wtinker@fcgnetworks.net
Fri, 7 Apr 2000 15:01:50 -0400

People First of N.H.
This Monday April 10-11,we will be in Cambridge, Ma.protesting about Harvard
is giving out a $50,000.00 award out to this incarcerated 2nd degree
convicted murderer Jack Kervorkian,and his attorney.
Please find the good Dr.s resume for you entertainment,and information.
If you would like to be part of this action e-mail Tom Cagle
nh-adapt@juno.com  or NHHomeless@egroups.com  as we will be getting further
updates before the week end is over..
Thank you for your indulgence...
A Brother In The Human Rights Struggle
Bill Tinker e-mail wtinker@fcgnetworks.net

----- Original Message -----
From: Thomas Cagle <nh-adapt@juno.com>
To: <NH_ADAPT@onelist.com>
Cc: <bill@grava.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 04, 2000 7:08 PM
Subject: [NH_ADAPT] Fw: Kevorkian Fact Sheet

> From: Not Dead Yet
> Below is a fact sheet that attempts we've adapted to separate the
> *myths* from the *facts* about Kevorkian.  This is in preparation for
> a planned protest at Harvard in which the Gleitsman Foundation
> will be giving a $50,000 Civilian Activist award to Kevorkian and
> death-row lawyer Bryan Stevenson.  Stevenson has devoted his
> career to opposing the death penalty - as this fact sheet should
> make clear, the thought of honoring *both* mens' efforts is absurd.
> An action alert will be going out later today.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> The Real Jack Kevorkian
> (This fact sheet is adapted with permission from a fact sheet produced
> by the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force.  The original
> document can be found at: http://www.iaetf.org/fctkev.htm).
> Since the death of his first "patient," the media has frequently and
> erroneously portrayed Jack Kevorkian as a retired pathologist whose
> only goal is to help end the unbearable suffering of terminal illness.
> The facts tell a different story.
> Q: Hasn't he sacrificed his career to champion the rights of the
> terminally ill?
> A: NO - first of all, he had no career to sacrifice.
>   He worked as a general pathologist at Pontiac General Hospital
> from 1960-1966. The circumstances of his leaving are unclear.
> Although he said under oath that he'd never been asked to leave a
> hospital, he later said he had been fired from Pontiac General. (1)
>   He then went to Wyandotte General Hospital where he worked for
> five months, (2) after which he set up a computerized diagnostic
> clinic that failed in about a year. He blamed the failure on other
> doctors who wouldn't refer anyone to his clinic. (3)
>   In the 1970s he bounced back and forth between Michigan and
> California. During this time he worked at four different hospitals and
> took a 2 1/2 year break from the medical profession. (4)
>   Although he calls himself a "retired" pathologist, he has not held a
> full-time job for years. (5) His unemployment has been more
> accurately described a "forced retirement." (6) He was even turned
> down for a job as a paramedic in 1989. (7)
>   He does not have a license to practice medicine. His Michigan
> license was suspended in 1991 and his California license was
> suspended in 1993. (8) According to the California Attorney
> General's office, Kevorkian is "fundamentally unfit to practice
> medicine."(9)
> Q: OK, so he didn't have a career.  He still has devoted his life to
> the rights of the terminally ill, right?
> A: NO - The establishment of deadly human experimentation as a
> medical specialty is Kevorkian's goal.
> Starting in the late 1950s, Kevorkian's main passion was lethal human
> experimentation.  He published articles, lobbied legislators and
> contacted death row prisoners to advance his proposals that sedated
> condemned prisoners be used as subjects for "research" currently
> forbidden with human beings.  Here are some examples of his public
> policy proposals and reflections over the years:
>   "What I find most satisfying," he has said, "is the prospect of making
> possible the performance of invaluable experiments" and other
> undefined "medical acts." (10)
>   He has described a process by which "subjects," including infants,
> children, even the mentally incompetent, would be used for
> experiments " of any kind or complexity." (11) Then, if the subject's
> body is alive after experimentation, "death may be induced" by such
> means as "removal of organs for transplantation" or "a lethal dose of
> a new or untested drug to be administered by an official
> executioner."(12)
>   Infants, children and others incapable of giving direct or informed
> consent are among the "potential candidates for the humane killing
> known as euthanasia." He calls this "suicide by proxy." (13)
>   He has expressed his desire to assist in the deaths of 20 or 30
> year-olds who are not ill, but who "just don't want to live anymore."(14)
>   He has said he wants to establish death houses run by "untouchables"
> where even an 18 year-old could go. (15) Under his supervision, he
> claims, the "untouchables" would be "incorruptible." (16)
>   He has even drawn up plans for these death centers. Using Michigan
> as a model for the nation, he has divided the state into eleven
> killing zones.(17)
>   All killing...which would be considered a medical specialty called
> "obitiatry" (from the word "obituary")...would be controlled through
> "zone headquarters."(18)
>   The "practitioner" of medical killing would be called an
> "obitiatrist"...literally "doctor of death." (19)
>   He has proposed a "auction market for available organs" (20) taken
> from "subjects" who are "hopelessly crippled by arthritis or
> malformations." (21) Part of the money from the dead disabled
> person's auctioned organs could go to relatives whose financial
> burdens would be eased and "their standard of living enhanced."(22)
> Q: OK, so he spent over 30 years advocating some pretty sick stuff.
> He abandoned that in favor of championing a "compassionate" right
> to die for the terminally ill, right?
> A: NO - assisted suicide and euthanasia have always been important
> components of Kevorkian's policy advocacy.  After decades of
> meeting steadfast resistance in his efforts to use death row inmates
> as lab rats, he turned to assisted suicide as an alternate route to his
> goals.  In a candid moment, Kevorkian explained his reasoning to
> an early suicide applicant:
> "Under extraordinary circumstances like these I feel it is only decent
> and fair to explain my ultimate aim.  I emphasized that it is not simply
> to help suffering or doomed persons kill themselves - that is merely the
> first step, an early distasteful professional obligation (now called
> medicide) that nobody in his or her right mind could savor.  I explained
> that what I find most satisfying is the prospect of making possible the
> performance of invaluable experiments or other beneficial medical acts
> under conditions that this first unpleasant step can help establish - in
> a word, obitiatry, as defined earlier."  (p. 214) (23)
> Q: OK, so his motives are less than compassionate.  So what?  He's
> still only advocating peaceful deaths for people who are going to die
> soon anyway, right?
> A: NO.  Kevorkian never intended to limit his activities to people close
> to death, and hasn't.  A soon-to-be published study documents that
> fewer than 30% of Kevorkian's body count consists of people who
> were "terminal".  The vast majority were people with chronic illnesses
> and disabilities - people with years and decades of life ahead of
> them. (24)  One of his early ads made it clear that he was looking
> for a very broad clientele:
>   In March 1990, a Detroit paper carried an article stating:
> "Applications are being accepted. Oppressed by a fatal disease, a
> severe handicap, a crippling deformity? Write Box 261, Royal Oak,
> Mich. 48068-0261. Show him proper compelling medical evidence
> that you should die, and Dr. Jack Kevorkian will help you kill yourself,
> free of charge." (25)
> "Terminally ill," as defined in most proposals to legalize euthanasia
> and assisted suicide, means a life expectancy of six months or
> less. (26) Yet the majority of Jack Kevorkian's "patients" did not
> fall within the meaning of "terminally ill." (Kevorkian has defined
> terminal illness as "any disease that curtails life even for a day." (27)
> His attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, has written, "Any disease that
> curtails life-span is terminal."(28)
> Q: OK, so he's mostly facilitating the deaths of people who aren't
> "terminal" in any conventional sense.  So what?  They're still suffering
> in pain and not depressed about anything, right?
> A: NO - Kevorkian has no training in identifying depression or any
> experience that would make him an authority on resources for
> people with disabilities.  Many of his "clients" were clearly in despair
> over situations in their lives which were not directly related to their
> illness or disability.
>   He has testified that, if a person is depressed over illness or
> disability, "the depression becomes irrelevant. "(29)
>   He has written that the deaths of sick or disabled people would
> benefit society:
> "[T]he voluntary self-elimination of individual and mortally diseased or
> crippled lives taken collectively can only enhance the preservation
> of public health and welfare." (30)
> Q: But aren't the people protesting Kevorkian really just religious
> zealots?
> A: Quite the contrary.  The diversity of groups opposing legalized
> assisted suicide and Kevorkian's advocacy cuts across a broad
> political spectrum.  People with disabilities are the often the eloquent
> and knowledgeable in pointing out that what is really at issue in
> much of the promotion of assisted suicide is a deeply rooted
> prejudice in our society against those who are severely disabled--
> a prejudice characterized by bigots who begrudge access to
> independent living or jobs, but rush to provide access to the grave.
> Disability rights leaders make their concern very clear:
>   "Kevorkian is sending out a message that, if you have a physical
> disease, it is not OK to go on living," according to Patricia McDonald
> of the Michigan Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. (31)
>   Ronald Seigel, chief of the Michigan Democrat's Handicapper
> Caucus has said that if Kevorkian were to prevail it would be "open
> season on the handicapped."(32)
>   "Choice is becoming a code word for the powerful eliminating
> the powerless," wrote Bill Bolte, president of Barrier Busters Inc.
> Warning that Kevorkian's plans pose a deadly threat to all severely
> disabled people, Bolte said, "We may find personally that our own
> lives are needlessly shortened as the death industry begins
> drawing off funds from aid to the living."(33)
> 1. Californian Medical Board, Complainant's Brief, 12/28/93, p.10.
> 2. Kevorkian Testimony, 6/8/90.p.19.
> 3. Ibid.
> 4. California Medical Board, Complainant's Brief, 12/28/93,pp.10-11.
> 5. "Death, by appointment only," Health Care Weekly Review, August 24,
> 1987.
> 6. "Mercy's Friend or Foe?" Newsweek, December 28, 1992,p.36.
> 7."Death Becomes Him," Contra Costa Times, 12/14/93, p.2F and "I Am Not
> Afraid," Detroit Free Press Magazine, 2/3/91, p.8.
> 8."California Suspends Kevorkian's License," Los Angeles Times, 4/28/93,
> p.A3.
> 9. California Medical Board, Complainants Brief, 12/28/93, p. 19.
> 10. Kevorkian, Prescription: Medicide the goodness of planned death, (New
> York,: Prometheus Books, 1991), p. 214.
> 11. Jack Kevorkian, "A Comprehensive Bioethical Code for Medical
> Exploitation
> Of Humans Facing Imminent and Unavoidable Death," Medicine and Law, vol.
> 5
> (1986), pp.194-195.
> 12. Ibid., p 195.
> 13. Kevorkian, Prescription: Medicide, p. 200.
> 14. Alice Gilbert, "The Legal Response to Assisted Suicide," Ohio
> Northern
> University Law Review, vol. 15, no. 3 (1994), p. 674 and California
> Medical
> Board, Complainants Brief, 12/28/93, p. 35.
> 15. Gilbert, Ohio Northern University Law Review (1994), p. 674.
> 16. "Suicide device mustn't be used, judge rules", Grand Rapids Press,
> 6/9/90
> and Kevorkian Testimony, 6/8/90,pp. 11-12.
> 17. Jack Kevorkian, "A Fail-Safe Model for Justifiable Medically-Assisted
> Suicide," American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, vol. 13, no. 1 (1992),
> pp.
> 11 & 28.
> 18. Ibid., pp. 11-12.
> 19. Ibid., p. 11.
> 20. Jack Kevorkian, "A Controlled Auction Market Is a Practical Solution
> to
> the Shortage of Transplantable Organs," Medicine and Law, vol. 11, nos.
> 1,2
> (1992), p. 49.
> 21. Ibid., p. 51.
> 22. Ibid., pp. 52-53.
> 23. Kevorkian, Prescription: Medicide, p. 214.
> 24.  Kaplan, K. (In Press). An update on the Kevorkian-Reding 93
> physician-assisted deaths in Michigan: Is Kevorkian a savior,
> serial-killer
> or suicidal martyr? Omega.
> 25."In Royal Oak: The Death Machine," Detroit Free Press Magazine,
> 3/18/90,p.24
> 26. Washington Initiative 119, Sec. 2 (7); California Proposition 161,
> Sec.
> 2525.2 (j); Oregon "Death with Dignity Act," Sec. 1.01 (12).
> 27. J. Kevorkian, in speech to National Press Club. "'Dr. Death': No law
> is
> needed on euthanasia," USA Today, October 28, 1992, p. 6A.
> 28. Geoffrey Fieger, Letter to the Editor, Detroit Free Press, 12/11/90.
> 29. Kevorkian Testimony, 6/8/90, pp.43-44.
> 30. Jack Kevorkian, Written Statement to Court, 8/17/90, p. 11 (emphasis
> in
> original).
> 31. 12th suicide Kevorkian assists in", Detroit News, 12/9/9/3, p. 1B
> (emphasis added).
> 32. "Kevorkian Charged in Assisted Suicide," Washington Post, 8/18/93,
> p.11A.
> 33. Bill Bolte, "Be wary of these 'last rights,'" USA Today, 2/24/93, p.
> 13A.
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