Between the Dying and the Dead: Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the Assisted Suicide Machine and the Battle to Legalise Euthanasia [Secure eReader]
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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.