AirTalk for June 3, 2011

The legacy of Doctor Death

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Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Jack Kevorkian arrives on the red carpet for the 68th annual Golden Globe awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California January 16, 2011.

Controversial advocate for assisted suicide Dr. Jack Kevorkian died today at the age of 83 after being treated for pneumonia and kidney problems, his lawyer said. Kevorkian spent eight years in prison for second-degree murder after giving a patient a lethal injection in 1998. His medical license was then revoked, and Kevorkian invented a “suicide machine” he called the “Mercitron” that allowed patients to make their own hearts stop beating with a push of a button. Kevorkian claims to have helped more than 130 terminally ill people kill themselves between 1990 and 1998. Janet Adkins, a 54-year old woman from Portland, who had Alzheimer’s disease, was the first user of Kevorkian’s “Mercitron.” She died in the back of a van in June 1990. Critics challenged Kevorkian’s moral stand on assisted suicide as well as his methods. Did his work change your opinion on assisted suicide? What will Kevorkian’s legacy be?

Guest:

Steve Lee Jones, Producer, Kevorkian; Executive Producer, You Don’t Know Jack


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