Jun 3, 2011

News Alert: Dr. Jack Kevorkian, Advocate for Assisted Suicide, Is Dead

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Friday, June 3, 2011 -- 9:02 AM EDT

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, Advocate for Assisted Suicide, Is Dead, His Lawyer Tells the A.P.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the central figure in the tumultuous national drama surrounding assisted suicide, died Friday in Royal Oak, Mich., his lawyer told the Associated Press. He was 83 and had been hospitalized with pneumonia and a recurring kidney condition.

Dr. Kevorkian, a medical pathologist who challenged social taboos about disease and dying, defied prosecutors and the courts to help terminally ill patients end their lives at times of their own choosing. He spent eight years in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder in the death of the last of the more than 100 patients whose suicides he assisted starting in 1990. His stubborn and often intemperate advocacy for the right of the terminally ill to choose how they die is widely credited with sparking a boom in hospice care in the United States, and with making physicians more sympathetic to their pain and more willing to prescribe medication to relieve it.

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