Dr. Death, Jack Kevorkian, Died...

by Wendy

Doctor Death has died...

I have admired him, from afar, for years. Despite putting himself in danger, because his activities were illegal, he felt strong enough to help these folks who wanted simple death. He paid the price in prison.

My father died in December 2005. After years of smoking cigarettes, his lungs finally took their last painful breath. His last two years were heartbreaking.

Dad was a social butterfly, and alcoholic...

He loved his one favorite pub and went there daily for the last forty years. It was his "Cheers" bar... where "everybody knows your name" and his friends hang out. He was a kindly soul and would give anyone the shirt off his back, leaving himself shirtless... it was never about him, always helping others.

Even when first diagnosed, he still drove there, daily, had a beer or two, and back home... he called it his "job". Grin! There was one bar chair that all the guys knew was Coop's seat... left open for him.

Towards the end, many times, he mentioned Jack Kevorkian. Life wasn't worth living any more. Every day was painful. Nobody ever visited... even his 40-year bar buddies. I honestly think this was my Dad's own living hell.

No wait - Hell would have been moving to a nursing home, which luckily never happened. Still -- life was darn close to Hell.

Anyways, I am curious what other retirees think about Physician Assisted Death. I hope you will comment below:

  • Was Dr. Kevorkian so wrong in helping these poor souls?

  • When, at what point, is life no longer worth living?

    Just very curious what everyone thinks!

    THANKS! Wendy

  • Comments for Dr. Death, Jack Kevorkian, Died...

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    Death doctor
    by: Anonymous

    Everyone should have the right to a peaceful death if they are old and living a life in great pain with no sign of a cure for their illness.

    Kavorkian meant well
    by: Anonymous

    If I were no longer able to live a productive life I would have welcomed Dr. Kavorkians help. I think he was a compassionate man who meant well but Americans are too "religious" to accept his kind of help.

    I hope God welcomed him when he went to the other side.

    by: Anonymous

    As a hospice nurse, I have seen people suffer near the end and just had to wait until God felt it was time to take them home. I never felt it was up to me to decide when that time should be.

    As hospice we neither hastened nor postponed death, but tried to help people live their life to the fullest no matter what their situation was.

    I can understand why someone would want to hasten death in those last days and hours, but what I fear would happen is that once the door was opened to legally allow physician assisted death, think of the possibilities for misuse of this power. Where would it end? What step would be next?

    Wendy: Yes, legislation itself would be sooooo complex, protests everywhere.

    "Let Go And Let God"
    by: Norma Thompson

    I feel God put us here for a reason and He will take us in His time and not ours! How dare we choose something that is His choice! There are pain medicines to take and experienced doctors put here for our benefit. "Let Go and Let God" is my answer and Pray and Keep Praying. God hears prayers everybody!

    Wendy: I agree, prayer really does work. I am Christian, attend church every Sunday -- but still,...

    voluntary death
    by: Anonymous

    I would not like to see a Dr Kevorkian assisting a depressed person to suicide, but I definitely can relate to the idea of arranging it yourself if you have an unbearable illness like Lou Gherigs (sp?). Who could stand in judgement of someone who made that choice?

    wendy: Safeguards and psychological testing would be necessary, of course.

    by: Mary

    We routinely are able to do the last act of kindness for our animals by means of euthanasia. It makes sense that we would also be allowed to do this for our loved people.

    by: Bett

    First of all, Wendy, I'm so sorry to hear how painful the last years of your dad's life were. Despite how difficult it was for both of you (an understatement, I know) it's great that your dad was able to remain living at home.

    I'm kind of ambivalent about assisted suicide and I don't honestly know that much about how Jack Kevorkian operated - although I'm certainly familiar with his name.

    I believe the Netherlands has a good system, allowing for euthanasia yet having safeguards to protect the patient.

    Wendy: Of course, there must be great safeguards. Some medical experts have said that there is some physician help in the U.S. but it's quietly done, simply to help the patient, by an understanding physician.

    The Death of All That Lives
    by: Barbara

    Thanks for the lovely, lovely story about your Dad and his final days. I'm sorry he had to struggle and you had to witness it. Thanks, too, for appreciating Dr. Kevorkian and his work.

    You asked for thoughts about the doctor's life. In my opinion, he opened up the whole subject of death in a good way. America has always feared and despised death, hoping to wish it away by putting makeup on corpses in beautiful caskets.

    It didn't work. The fact is, there is hideous suffering in the world. When a pet is beginning to suffer more than we can bear to watch, we take it to the vet to be "put to sleep."

    But we scream in horror and put Dr. Kevorkian in prison because he advocated THE SAME THING for suffering humans. Does this make sense? No. But we are still too afraid to come to terms with the fact that many if not most living creatures may suffer terribly during final illnesses.

    Churches, many of them, despise suicide and/or assisted suicide, even by a doctor. That does not mean that the churches are right. To me, a decision to assist in suicide should be very personal, not something governed by the edicts of any church. Hands off, churches!! is what I'd say.

    Actually, the underlying belief of many churches is that humans have souls and animals do not. Therefore, we may put animals "to sleep" when they are in agony, because there's no problem with their souls. But humans--we can't put them "to sleep" because that would injure their immortal souls in some way.

    But as for me, I thank Dr. Kevorkian and hold his memory in high esteem.

    I look forward to reading other comments on all this. Have a wonderful day, everybody--


    Wendy: Barbara, I had to comment when I read this: "there is hideous suffering in the world."

    Years ago, I visited the hospital where an employee was dying of cancer to do her retirement paperwork. I didn't know this lady, but I cried my head off all the way back to work, sobbing deeply. What I saw was "hideous" and it made me ill that she had to pass this way. She looked, quite honestly, like a death camp refugee... it was horrible.

    I went directly into a co-workers office, closed the door, she took one look at my face and asked "WHAT is wrong?" and I started howling again. I'm don't cry... this was really unusual for me, but it left an imprint on my life for sure.

    by: JIM




    Dr. Death
    by: Pam

    When quality has gone from life, one should have the right to choose. I worked in a hospital for over twenty years, and saw the suffering that a lot of people endured. I saw many treatments given that were really only experiments, causing more suffering for the patient.

    At the moment, I see a relative in her late 80s' wasting away because of cancer, and saying she is ready to go, but she will have to suffer to the end.

    Jack Kevorkian had the courage to stand up for what he and many many more around the world believe in.

    I live in Australia, and the one man here who speaks out, and tries to help those who want it, has been hounded by the government non stop.

    Hopefully one day, the laws will be changed.

    by: Anonymous

    We do not have the right to take anyones life or to help them take it, That is up to our Lord, no matter how much we or they are suffering. When our time comes, God will relieve us take us out.

    I am sorry for your loss, but we all must go through the last days, one way or another. If we know the Lord and give our suffering to him it will be much easier for all concerned, you, your family and friends.

    by: Anonymous

    I'm going to throw this into the mix and see what the response is...

    In my country abortion is legal, however, physician assisted death is not. Where are the norms and standards in that?

    Wendy's personal Dad/Kevorkian story
    by: Linda McFadden Schuler


    Your story about your father's alcoholism/bar habits/enjoyments, and his lung cancer death, as well as all your opinions about nursing homes, etc-- echoed my father's story and my opinions and feelings on all the subjects you spoke of.

    Thank you for honoring you father, yourself, Kevorkian, my father, , Life itself, and me.

    Well done!

    to those of you whom i agree with
    by: Linda schuler (2nd comment)

    Pam, Jim, Barbara, Mary:
    Thank you for your intelligence.

    Dr. Death
    by: Anonymous

    I agree this is a double standard, I for one do not beleive in either one and do not vote for anyone that does beleive in either. If they say one way or the other. So many times their answer to the question is "NO COMMENT" well you can be sure which way they beleive and how they will vote to use your tax money. The Bible says "Thou Shall Not Kill" Either one is out and out Murder.

    I support Dr K, but here's a way
    by: Louise

    Please everyone remember that if you are quite ill and you don't eat, you can usually die in about two weeks. If you don't drink either, it can be less time.

    These are natural processes, not requiring any drugs or any "crime," and we should inquire of our (and our parents') prospective doctors and care facilities whether they respect a person's choice not to eat or not to drink as a valid choice in final illness care, and find out that the doctor or care facility would not do intravenous intervention against the person's intentions.

    This is one reason why it is important to choose a person who will support such a choice to give your health care power of attorney to, and make clear in your advance directives that you do not want intravenous or other food and water intervention if you stop eating.

    Stopping eating is a natural part of dying; appetite is one of the things you loose sometimes in life-threatening illness.

    I remember fondly a 90+ year old male family friend who made this choice in his final illness.
    And I remember my visit with my God-mother, his daughter-in-law, when she was passing on (too young) from a rare blood cancer, when she said, "I don't know why I'm still eating." Everyone can make this choice at their own time, if they are in an environment that does not do nutrition intervention when they make the choice.

    Mr Kevorkian
    by: Rita

    I feel he should have done what ever the person wanted, if they was in severe pain, with no hopes of getting well,and wanted death, rather than suffer the pain, then let it happen, i know it is against Gods, will, i am a Christian, but i feel God, understands, and forgives.

    My Parents both smoked all their lives, and never got cancer, i am 80 years old, have been around a good many smokers, and still have no sign of cancer.

    We lost my father in 1956 by finding him shot in the temple with a 410 shot gun, he was 67.
    Mom and i lived together till her death in 1967, i have been alone since then.
    I am positive my Mom would have felt the same as i do about Mr Kevorkian.

    death and life
    by: Janet

    I think it is absolutely terrible that anyone would try to play God. God has a master plan and we are to accept it and our life here on earth. He didn't say that we weren't going to hurt once in awhile but He did say , "Do not kill". If we don't have the Lord as our savior and ruler then we are going to live forever, but in the wrong place. Remember the truth will set you free, so please read the bible and find out what the truth really is. Rom. 10:9. Janet

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