Death on Demand: Jack Kevorkian and the Right-to-Die by Michael DeCesare

By Michael DeCesare

Demise on call for explores the polarizing position of Jack Kevorkian—“Dr. Death”—and his position because the so much noticeable chief of the right-to-die circulation. The ebook examines Kevorkian’s actions within the context of the right-to-die stream to appreciate his an important function in bringing the arguable perform of assisted suicide into the general public dialog.

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Additional resources for Death on Demand: Jack Kevorkian and the Right-to-Die Movement

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86 To Kevorkian, the new field would be no different from any other medical specialty, some of which—rheumatology and gerontology, to use examples he cited—had been considered equally outlandish several decades earlier. In what type of case would a bioethiatrician be called upon? Kevorkian’s hypothetical scenario was a poignant one that was still fresh in Americans’ minds. ” 88 Kevorkian failed to drum up any professional or public support for his latest ideas, but he forged ahead. In a 1987 letter to the editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Kevorkian argued that physicians should be allowed to remove the organs of a condemned criminal.

There is a final point to be made about this passage. By invoking the possibility of saving the lives of American soldiers, Kevorkian gives his readers a grand and hopeful vision that goes far beyond the bloody details of any particular medical experiment. He is appealing to rationality here, as he would do countless times in the decades ahead. At the same time, interestingly, he is trying to tap into his readers’ sense of patriotism and loyalty to their soldiers; in other words, into their emotions and feelings.

By 1980, a “social movement sector,” as it has been called, had developed for the first time around the right to die. 51 It was characterized by organizations with competing interests, agendas, leaders, and definitions of what the “right to die” actually meant. Jack Kevorkian spent the late 1970s and early 1980s working at several hospitals in southern California. His general interest in human death remained as strong as ever, regardless of where he practiced medicine. In fact, at the Beverly Hills Medical Center, he continued a habit he had developed during his residency at the University of Michigan during the 1950s: “I used to take what I called death rounds.

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