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Between the Dying and the Dead: Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the Assisted Suicide Machine and the Battle to Legalise Euthanasia [Secure eReader]
eBook by Neal Nicol & Harry L Wylie

eBook Category: People/General Nonfiction
eBook Description: Jack Kevorkian is best known for inventing the 'suicide machine' and being an outspoken proponent of the right to die with dignity. He has revolutionised the way the world thinks about euthanasia. Until now his story has never been properly told, but in this fully-authorised biography Kevorkian lifts his self-imposed silence through his closest associates. In addition to his work on pioneering 'living wills' and the assisted suicide machine, he was nominated for a Nobel Prize for his work in pathology, and a Grammy for his music. Fluent in eight languages and with a genius IQ, Kevorkian's personal story far exceeds his battle to legalise euthanasia.

eBook Publisher: Vision Paperbacks/Vision Paperbacks
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2006




To many of those who have known him personally, he is a saint and a saviour. To many of those who only know of him, he is the worst kind of sinner. Millions of people around the world know the name Dr Jack Kevorkian, but few know anything about the man. When his fi ght to legalise euthanasia was making headlines in the 1990s, the public saw only the macabre ?Dr Death? ? the often abrasive, always outspoken proponent of the right of the terminally ill to end their suffering on their own terms. But behind that persona lies a complicated man with a compelling story. He was a former child prodigy, the son of Armenian refugees who came to America to escape the Turkish genocide. Starting with nothing, his parents soon found themselves raising a precocious student, a boy his less-gifted teachers dreaded but whom the neighbourhood kids idolised. His early talents ranged from woodwork to linguistics to science experiments in the basement. Later, he became a brilliant pathologist, devoting his life to the unusual pursuit of extracting social benefi t from death. Dr Kevorkian?s passion brought him into constant confl ict with the society that he saw himself as trying to help. At every step along the way, he went at loggerheads with people who were not ready for his ideas. He did not just take on the medical establishment and the law; throughout his life he dared to challenge a taboo as old as human civilisation ? the taboo against death. He dared to suggest that we treat dying, suffering and suicide rationally. Jack Kevorkian is a complex individual, full of fascinating contradictions. He is outspoken, brash, egotistical and intensely committed to the causes in which he believes. He is also a shy, eccentric man who lived a monastic, ethical life, buying his clothes at the Salvation Army and subsisting on the plainest of food, particularly white bread. He lacks the capacity to lie so much that when he played poker with his friends he never bluffed, and if he bet, everyone folded. Regardless of how one feels about his politics, Dr Kevorkian changed the way most of us think about dying. Because of him, we now have living wills and the right to refuse resuscitation. A November 2005 poll by the Pew Research Center showed that 29 per cent of the people surveyed have living wills ? more than twice the number who had them in 1990. Attitudes towards pain management for terminally ill patients have changed dramatically. Rather than being withheld necessary medication in case they become addicted, many patients are now given the ability, through implanted pumps, to self-control the dose of pain medication they receive. And the number of doctors who admit to quietly complying with a patient?s request for a lethal dose of medication is steadily rising. None of these changes came without a fi ght.


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