Jack Kevorkian Right to Die

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  • Topic: Jack Kevorkian, Voluntary euthanasia, Death
  • Pages : 3 (1014 words )
  • Download(s) : 285
  • Published : March 25, 2012
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Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a pathologist who was stripped of his license by the state of Michigan in 1991, helped at least 130 people kill themselves during the 1990s. In many cases, the instrument of death was a homemade contraption of dangling tubes and bottles, which he named the "Merciton,” that dispensed lethal drugs. Other patients breathed carbon monoxide through a mask. In either case, they administered the deadly agent to themselves. Most died in the back of Dr. Kevorkian's van. Michigan authorities prosecuted him on 4 separate occasions but could not make any murder charges stick. In the 1998 assisted suicide of former race car driver Thomas Youk, who had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Dr. Kevorkian took a different approach: he injected the lethal drugs himself, crossing a line in the minds of many. Subsequently, Kevorkian began the world wide controversy on a patients “right to die” (Frontline). Euthanasia is only legal in three U.S. states: Oregon, Washington and Montana. Although, there are regulations; a patient with an illness that will kill them within six months can request lethal drugs from a doctor. The request must be confirmed by two witnesses, one of whom cannot be related or known to the patient. Only when the patient has waited an additional fifteen days and reconfirmed the request can the lethal dose be given. As for other countries, euthanasia is legal in Australia, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland. The regulations for euthanasia in these countries are much like that of the United States (ERGO). People who support the right to die believe that legalizing euthanasia would help alleviate suffering of terminally ill patients and that it is inhumane and unfair to make them endure the unbearable pain (Hemlock). Also, they think that in the case of individuals suffering from incurable diseases or in conditions where effective treatment wouldn't affect their quality of life; they should be given the liberty to choose induced death, “If you don't...
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