By Michael DeCesare
Loss of life on call for explores the polarizing function of Jack Kevorkian—“Dr. Death”—and his position because the so much obvious chief of the right-to-die circulation. The publication examines Kevorkian’s actions within the context of the right-to-die circulate to appreciate his an important position in bringing the arguable perform of assisted suicide into the general public dialog.
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Additional info for Death on Demand: Jack Kevorkian and the Right-to-Die Movement
38 But this was akin to “playing God,” some critics argued. The doctor’s response was concise: “Well, everybody plays God. . ” 39 Kevorkian also quickly—and predictably—drew the ire of pro-life organizations. ” 41 Mary Jo Kahler, the executive director of Human Life of Washington, added that “[Dr. Kevorkian] was the direct facilitator of [Janet Adkins’s] death. ” At the time, Kahler’s group was working to block Washington State’s Initiative 119 which, if passed, would give certain patients the right to die.
His proposed method required only an ophthalmoscope, tap water, and a patient without cataracts, and referenced his own research on “the eye in death” during the 1950s and early 1960s. ” 100 By early 1989, Kevorkian was more publicly promoting his idea of harvesting the organs of the roughly 2,000 people then on death rows across the country. “Each condemned prisoner could save five, six, “A SE LF- I M POSE D M I SSI ON ” 31 seven lives,” he said. “They’re young, they’re in good shape. ” Kevorkian even had new business cards printed, on which he referred to himself as an obitiatrist—“the world’s first,” he declared proudly.
The wedge was driven even further by the newly founded Hemlock Society, which had ballooned to 50,000 members by the time Kevorkian appeared on the scene in 1990. Its rapid growth was due in large part to its official support for active euthanasia and assisted suicide and to its dual mission of legislative reform and grassroots education. Unable to handle the national and international competition, the SRD and CFD reunited in 1991 to form Choice in Dying (CID). Nevertheless, Hemlock would continue throughout most of the 1990s to be the most widely recognized right-to-die organization in the country.