Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Doctor Jack Kevorkian died on Friday, June 3rd, a month ago.

I want to thank Dr. Kevorkian for what he did. I can't, won't, don't want to write about the moral issues. For me personally, the moral issues have very little significance.

I could say "NO significance." but I don't want to insult or disregard your feelings about what's right and what's wrong.

I need to be the master of my fate, the captain of my soul, the boss, the decider about what I do, or don't do with my life, my time.

Dr. Kevorkian gave himself, his life, his energy, his career, to providing a way for people to end their lives.

His presence, his point of view, his deep concern, passion, belief, the philosophy he lived by -- his ideology -- just his presence on earth is, was and still is a support for what I feel about the end of MY life.

It is my life!

My life is mine!

It is up to me to live my life, or not!

What follows below, I copied from an article in the New York Times. Written by Ross Douthat, , conservative American author, blogger, and a New York Times columnist, this appeared two days after Kevorkian's death.

"We are all dying, day by day: do the terminally ill really occupy a completely different moral category from the rest? A cancer patient’s suffering isn’t necessarily more unbearable than the more indefinite agony of someone living with multiple sclerosis or quadriplegia or manic depression. And not every unbearable agony is medical: if a man losing a battle with Parkinson’s disease can claim the relief of physician-assisted suicide, then why not a devastated widower, or a parent who has lost her only child? This isn’t a hypothetical slippery slope. Jack Kevorkian spent his career putting this dark, expansive logic into practice ... "

Okay, the Times Op Ed writer was expressing his own personal moral convictions, and they are different from mine.

I am mourning the death of Dr. Jack Kevorkian. People who read what I write, often write back to me, and share with me, what they think. That sharing helps me and touches me. That's why I am posting this.

As playwright Arthur Miller said, at the end "Death of a Salesman" -- I feel "attention must be paid."


Carola said...

I basically agree with you, but I think Dr. Kevorkian operated in ways that actually hurt the Right to Die movement which has been quite successful in the Pacific Northwest.

Linda Phillips said...

I feel very strongly about a person's rights to choose assisted suicide, if that person is suffering and in an untenable living situation. I so admired Dr. Kevorkian. Thanks Em, for writing about him!

Heather Mash said...

Emily, this piece you have written is brilliant! Recently, I watch an HBO televised program entitled "Dying in Oregon" where terminally ill people can legally determine ending their own lives where the terminally ill rather than suffering terrible additional pain with no relief. It is our choice, our body, it may not be for everyone but it is a choice I support this law with it's safe guards, for anyone that wishes to chose it who is terminally ill. Never understand why those that disagree with others about legal choices want to limit everyone to the choices they deem appropriate based on their views. I have no objection to their not chosing the same as me. Thank you Dr. Jack Kvorkian for allowing us all to explore and think about a subject that too many want to avoid and remain ignorant. He was a pioneer in his field an advocate and a humanitarian history will see him as such. xxxxoooo Heather Mash