Jacob “Jack” Kevorkian Dies at 83

Jack Kevorkian died on June 3, 2011 after a lengthy history of kidney problems.  He was recently diagnosed with liver cancer, which may have been secondary to hepatitis C infection, according to his friend Neal Nicol.  Kevorkian died a dignified death in a hospital.  The nurses played classical music by Bach because he once stated that Bach was his God.  Biomedical ethics courses, which are taught in medical schools, discuss Jack Kevorkian’s philosophies regarding death and dying.  Many of us remember the troubling headlines in 1990, when Kevorkian publicized his first physician-assisted suicide.

Former Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca said “I think it was a certain level of hypocrisy in not choosing suicide,” referring to Kevorkian’s death.  Ned McGrath, the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Communications Director stated, “It is both ironic and tragic that Kevorkian himself was afforded a dignified, natural death in a hospital, something he denied to those who came to him in desperation, only to be poisoned and have their bodies left in places such as vans and motel rooms”.

Prior to having his medical license revoked, Jack Kevorkian was a pathologist, having graduated from the prestigious University of Michigan Medical School.  Kevorkian was also an accomplished flutist and organist.  He was also an oil painter who sometimes painted using his own blood.  Nicknamed Dr. Death, Jack Kevorkian is dead and he did not choose suicide.

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