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Conservatives Comment on Kevorkian's Death

Jack Kevorkian, the Michigan pathologist who fought to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in the United States, died in a Detroit-area hospital at age 83. Kevorkian admitted to assisting in the deaths of 130 people, and his attempts to legalize assisted suicide were unanimously rejected by the Supreme Court in 1997. He was sentenced to prison for murder in 1999 and was paroled in 2007.

Burke J. Balch, J.D., director of National Right to Life’s Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics, commented, “Many of the victims on whom Jack Kevorkian preyed were people with disabilities who had no terminal illness; one was simply old. In at least five cases autopsies were unable to confirm any disease at all.”

Wesley J. Smith of the Illinois Federation for Right to Life blogged, “Kevorkian was a disturbed man who, I fear, understood his society—and the media—all too well.  And that may be his legacy.  He perceived how far some will bend to rationalize even the most egregious wrongdoing or advocacy if the excuse is relieving suffering.”

In a Fox News blog, psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow said, “A legitimate question remains whether Kevorkian was a dedicated, though misguided, physician, or a serial killer taking refuge under the mantel of the profession. If a serial killer, he was perhaps the most prolific in the history of the world.”

The prosecutor who won the murder case against Kevorkian, David Gorcyca, was quoted by The Washington Post: “I find a certain amount of hypocrisy that he didn’t end his life in the same manner that he ended others. I assumed that someday he’d commit suicide and tape it and air it for the world to see.”

A spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit commented, “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.”

In a conservative blog with the San Francisco Chronicle, Debra Saunders wrote, “Jack Kevorkian and his supporters portrayed the death doc as a compassionate man who offered “death with dignity” to individuals suffering from a poor quality of life. I always saw him as a man who preyed on vulnerable individuals by telling them their lives weren’t worth living.”  

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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including churchleaders.com and SermonCentral.com.