Saturday, May 26, 2007

Dr. Death To Be Freed

Jack Kevorkian will be a free man next week and the Associated Press laments the fact only Oregon allows assisted suicide.
LANSING, Mich. - For nearly a decade, Dr. Jack Kevorkian waged a defiant campaign to help other people kill themselves.

The retired pathologist left bodies at hospital emergency rooms and motels and videotaped a death that was broadcast on CBS' "60 Minutes." His actions prompted battles over assisted suicide in many states.

But as he prepares to leave prison June 1 after serving more than eight years of a 10- to 25-year sentence in the death of a Michigan man, Kevorkian will find that there's still only one state that has a law allowing physician-assisted suicide — Oregon.

Experts say that's because abortion opponents, Catholic leaders, advocates for the disabled and often doctors have fought the efforts of other states to follow the lead of Oregon, where the law took effect in late 1997.

Opponents defeated a measure in Vermont this year and are fighting similar efforts in California. Bills have failed in recent years in Hawaii, Wisconsin and Washington state, and ballot measures were defeated earlier by voters in Washington, California, Michigan and Maine.

Kevorkian's release could spur another round of efforts, if only to prevent anyone else from following his example.

"One of the driving forces of the (Oregon) law was to prevent the Jack Kevorkians from happening," said Kate Davenport, a communications specialist at the Death with Dignity National Center in Portland, Ore., which defended Oregon's law against challenges.

"It wasn't well regulated or sane," she said. "There were just too many potential pitfalls."
Kevorkian is a lunatic and I have a hunch he's learned little in his time behind bars. Within weeks of his release, he'll probably help someone commit suicide and will be looking at prison again.

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