Friday, June 3, 2011

The final death of U.S. doctor

In 1998, the verdict against Dr. Jack Kevorkian has forever changed the way the United States contemplates euthanasia. On 17 September of that year gave him an injection to Thomas Youk, 52, who suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Normally, I let patients inject a lethal dose of liquid themselves.

As Youk could not, by his immobility, he did the same doctor, after asking his consent. He recorded it on video and allowed the program 60 Minutes on CBS to broadcast the incident. Prosecutors filed charges and brought to trial. Kevorkian has died today in Detroit at age 83. The jury found him guilty of manslaughter.

The judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison. The anti-euthanasia groups named him as Doctor Death. He spent eight years in prison. Kevorkian had been a belligerent defense of what he called right to die with dignity. Had been tried on numerous occasions, and had won every case open until the story aired on CBS.

In prison, was silent. When the U.S. learned that he was let out on parole after eight years, thought that the prison had changed their view of suicide. After leaving, however, in June 2007, attacked in various ways against the government and against its detractors. He said he had reached an agreement with prosecutors to not help anyone to die, but that's not forbidden to have opinions.

"The government is a tyrant who treats us like sheep," he told the New York Times. For the anti-euthanasia groups dubbed as "crazy or religious fanatics." He estimated then that throughout his life had helped about 130 people die in diseases or severe physical pain. "Those who come now I can not help," he said, resigned.

Kevorkian was born in Michigan in 1928, Armenian immigrant family. He graduated in medicine and in the 80's began advertising in newspapers in Detroit as a specialist in "assistance to a dignified death." In 1990 he performed his first euthanasia, according to several interviews he gave over the years.

It was an old woman who suffered the final stages of Alzheimer's disease and in some moments that Kevorkian said they were lucid, called an early death. That case earned him and his first demand and that the State of Michigan to withdraw its license. Died Friday at a hospital in Royal Oak, near Detroit.

He suffered pneumonia and kidney failure. As a last wish, nurses reproduced music of Johann Sebastian Bach on his deathbed.

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