Jack Kevorkian (1928 – 2011)

Background on Kevorkian’s assisted-suicide “career”:

The Real Jack Kevorkian International Task Force documented fact sheet about Jack Kevorkian’s background, credentials, goals, early victims, etc. (1995)

Victim List Names and ages of Kevorkian’s known victims and the dates of their deaths.

Kevorkian’s Plans for Human Experimentation On June 7, 1998, 45-year-old Joseph Tushkowski became Jack Kevorkian’s 109th known victim and the first known to have had his organs removed. According to the medical examiner, Tushkowski’s sweater was pulled up, his belly opened and his kidneys pulled out. Kevorkian has other plans for human experimentation.


“Stigma Around Physician-Assisted Dying Lingers”
(New York Times — March 22, 2015)
[L]ooking back at where we have been to see where we may be headed.
Where better to start than with Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the Michigan pathologist who came to be known as Doctor Death.

Note: The NYT article also refers to concern among some that certain patients might feel they owe it to their overburdened families to call it quits. An example of promotion of such sentiments was described in a 2011 letter to the editor from an Oregon woman:
“To my surprise and horror, during the exam I overheard the doctor giving my husband a sales pitch for assisted suicide.  ‘Think of what it will spare your wife, we need to think of her’ he said, as a clincher.”
Read full letter, “I was afraid to leave my husband alone again with doctors and nurses” (4th letter in listing)

“It’s a Kevorkian World”
(National Review — December 6, 2014)
In the midst of the Brittany Maynard mania, it struck me how prophetic Jack Kevorkian was about how deeply the culture of death would subsume the culture of the West….We are becoming a Kevorkian world.  We don’t have to, it’s not too late not to — but unless we stop slouching toward indifference and succumbing to emotional bludgeoning, Kevorkian will be the face you see in the mirror.

“Jack Kevorkian’s paintings and death device come to L.A. gallery”
(Los Angeles Times — March 24, 2014)
It may not be art, but it’s certainly going to be one of the most macabre objects ever in an art gallery: the Thanatron, the intravenous drip device that Dr. Jack Kevorkian invented to shuffle his clients off this mortal coil via assisted suicide, is going on sale next month at Gallerie Sparta in Wast Hollywood, along with a dozen of Kevorkian’s oil paintings.

“Dr. Kevorkian’s Victims”
(New York — June 6, 2011)
If participating in a suicide is legally and ethically acceptable, in other words, it can’t just be because cancer is brutal and dementia is dehumanizing. It can only be because there’s a right to suicide. And once we allow that such a right exists, the arguments for confining it to the dying seems arbitrary at best.,., Jack Kevorkian spent his career putting this dark, expansive logic into practice.

“Kevorkian: A Dark Mirror on Society”
(National Review Online — June 3, 2011)
The death of Jack Kevorkian by natural causes has a certain irony, but is not surprising. His driving motive was always obsession with death…Thus, while the media continually described him as a “retired” doctor who helped “the terminally ill” to commit suicide, at least 70 % of his assisted suicide were not dying.

“Dr. Kevorkian: Assisted Suicide, the Legal and Moral Debate”
(International Business Times — June 3, 2011)
For some, Kevorkian was crusading for an inviolable civil right. For others, his work invited the insidious consequences of turning doctor-assisted suicide into a legally sanctioned medical treatment…And there is a grim financial calculus at work. Assisted suicide is less expensive than continued treatment and more likely to be covered by insurance.

“What Dr. Jack Kevorkian Didn’t Understand About Death”
(Fox News — June 3, 2011)
Jack Kevorkian, known as “Doctor Death” for assisting patients he deemed terminally ill to end their lives has died….If Jack Kevorkian (and notice that I don’t in this article use “Dr.” in front of his name, ever) did not intuit that the slippery slope would certainly manifest itself in America (were assisted suicide widely available) then he was either naive or bloodthirsty.

“No Longer Science Fiction”
(Tothesource–March 30, 2011)
When Jack Kevorkian advocated harvesting organs from assisted suicide victims in 1991, people were appalled. What about killing despairing disabled people in euthanasia and then taking their organs?  That might seem like a science fiction scenario that will never really happen.  Unfortunately, it already has.

“Jack Kevorkian Admits to Committing Second Murder on Larry King”
( Second Hand Smoke – – June 21, 2010 )
Jack Kevorkian was imprisoned for lethally injecting Thomas Youk. It was always thought that Kevorkian only injected Youk. But, according to Kevorkian, he also injected Janet Adkins… Technically, he could be prosecuted for Atkins’ homicide.

“Dr. Jack Kevorkian on Life Since Prison”
( CNN Larry King Live – – June 18, 2010 )
In a rambling interview, Jack Kevorkian discusses his activities. After saying, “I did the [lethal] injection” that killed Thomas Youk, he stated that he also killed Janet Adkins, his first known victim, in that manner.

“I did know Jack”
( Metro Times – Detroit, MI USA – October 21, 2009 )
Dr. Death is emotionally about as cold as anyone I have ever met, writes Jack Lessenberry. More

“Kevorkian release already a circus” (Detroit Free Press, 5/11/07)
Jack Kevorkian, the face of assisted suicide in the United States, is scheduled for release from prison on June 1, 2007 and the media can’t wait to begin the interviews.  First in line is CBS “60 Minutes.”

“Dr Death Gets Out of Jail” (Weekly Standard, 12/14/06)
Jack Kevorkian, the formerly unemployed pathologist and later  convicted murderer, is scheduled for parole soon.

On November 20, 2001, the Michigan Court of Appeals unanimously upheld Jack Kevorkian’s second-degree murder conviction. Kevorkian, who had served as his own attorney, claimed the lawyer who provided assistance to him at his trial was ineffective. He was sentenced to a 10 to 25 year prison but will be paroled in 2007.

Update Search Search back issues of the Update for documented information on the activities of Jack Kevorkian.

Links to other sites for information about Jack Kevorkian (To return to Patients Rights Council site after visiting outside sites, click “back” on your browser until you reach the Patients Rights Council site):

Kevorkian’s Art Work PBS site with Kevorkian’s full color paintings and their explanations

In addition to that listed above, information about Jack Kevorkian may be obtained by putting in the word “Kevorkian” as the text to search for at the International Task Force Site Search on the main page.