Dr. Jack Kevorkian Dead at 83

Dr. Kevorkian during a January appearance at UCLA

DETROIT—Dr. Jack Kevorkian died this morning at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. He was 83.

The Associated Press reported that Kevorkian had been hospitalized in May after experiencing pneumonia and kidney problems.

Kevorkian, the world renowned assisted-suicide advocate, was released from prison in 2007 after serving for 8 years. He had assisted in at least 130 suicides.

Kevorkian, born in Pontiac, Mich. to Armenian immigrant parents, was also a painter and composer.

“You Don’t Know Jack,” a film by Oscar-winning director Barry Levinso and based on the life and work of Jack Kevorkian, aired on HBO in April 2010.

Al Pacino won the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award in February for “Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a TV Movie or Mini-Series” for his role as Jack Kevorkian in the HBO movie “You Don’t Know Jack.”

The plot takes place in the 1990’s when Kevorkian, a former pathologist, began his highly controversial practice of assisting suicides and brought the topic of euthanasia to the forefront of American political debate.

Authors

Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.

30 Comments

  1. Satenik said:

    He was a great man. He should have never been put in prison for 8 years, that was a disgrace!!!!!!!!!!

    • Christo said:

      Satenik, you know what’s the greater disgrace, that very few individuals (Armenians too) ever sent him money during those 8 years. In order to survive and have a decent meal in the state or federal prison systems, you are forced to purchase from the commissary, and in order to purchase decent snacks or food, money is required. Most Armenians shunned away from him.
      But, the January event at UCLA was amazing, and it was amazing that towards the end of his life for once an Armenian organization was able to honor him while he was alive.

      • Satenik said:

        I don’t know about that, but if that is true ,it is indeed a great shame. I think though that Dr. Kevorkian himself held no grudge against the Armenians . Like any Great Man, being in prison did not embitter him, I can think of Nelson Mandela when it comes to this. I believe that he loved Armenians and Armenians should be indeed proud that Dr. Kevorkian was simply too advanced for his visions to be appreciated in the USA. The best the state could offer him was a pathetic prison sentence. He should be given a Nobel Prize, but I guess he was too honourable and nobel to receive it….well when I think that Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize……I think I should stop here.

  2. Christo said:

    Dr. Kevorkian,
    You are my hero. You were, and still are a Great Armenian. Hokit Sirem, Hoghe Tetev togh ellah koo verat.

  3. Dikran Abrahamian MD said:

    Compatriot Dr. Kevorkian in essence was a human rights activist, and a pioneer in theory and practice of euthanasia. His name will remain etched in every single progressive scientist’s mind.

    May he rest in peace.

    Dikran Abrahamian BA, MD
    http://www.keghart.com Canada

  4. Arshag Kavafian said:

    What he did was a heroic act. No one had ever dared or will dare in future to do what he had openly done.

  5. Artin said:

    Yerani ayspisi mardik shat linein Hayeri maj
    endhanrapes khnditr cheink unenal
    yes havatum em vor amen inch Hayeri hamar lav e linelu
    GITEM

  6. Arsineh said:

    Does anyone have a full video of him speaking at this event? I’ve been searching and can’t find a thing. It would be really great to hear him address an Armenian crowd about his life’s work.

  7. rem said:

    You are a Great Armenian,prison for 8 years, that was a disgrace!!!

  8. vrej+rem said:

    Great man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8 տարի բանդում ,դա մեծ սխալ էր ու տանջաք……

  9. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    Dr. Jack Kevorkian (1928-2011) -The pathologist
    Advocated “Death with Dignity” 

    Jack… the Armenian Angle Gabriel Arrived Heaven, 
    To Treat and Sing with His Peers

    The life is unbearable
    When someone has ‘Intolerable Pain’…
    Where no medicines
    No drugs can help…

    Hence…For what to live
    If there is no cure
    To have more pain 
    And sigh every second 
    For days…and days
    Till the savior arrives…!

    And end where and when…! 
    As the end is end
    No one can escape
    Jack was not a slayer but pathologist
    He knew the end of every disease…
    He was but a Painter, Composer, Instrumentalist

    He was “right to die activist”
    Named euthanastist…
    “Death with Dignity”

    He was imprisoned…for eight springs…
    By the judges…Never by God 
    Those…Who never understood his conscious mind…
    Others wanted to open more hospices for care
    To earn more and spread that wealth and enjoy…!
    Let their cohorts work hard and pay…!

    They named him ‘Doctor Death’
    Did he kill a child? 
    How about tyrants…genociders 
    Who killed the unborn before the pregnant mother… 

    Was he terrorist ?
    Or ex-IMF chief, Mr. DSK*
    Or Mr. Madoff** …Who emptied the pockets of the rich and poor
    Till his son Mark*** committed suicide at his behalf…!
    Why we don’t call him ‘Father Death’…!

    Can healthy and young ones understand?
    What does it mean sick….demented…
    They will never feel
    Till they reach that chair
    Wishing to end their life
    As the end is end
    No one could delay…!

    Mr. Kavanaugh,****of right-to-die organization said,
    “Dr. Kevorkian was a man who sought out humanity…”

    I do add my say, “He is and was typical honest scientific Armenian…
    Born to advocate the truth knowing well…That will hurt him eventfully
    One day the truth will prevail… late…but not forever..!”

    Sylva-MD-Poetry
    June 3, 2011
    ________________
    *   Dominique Strauss-Kahn (b. 1949-????)
    **  Bernard Madoff (b.1938–????) 
    *** Mark Madoff (1964-2010)
    ****Frank Kavanaugh, a member of the board of directors of the Final Exit Network, a non-profit and right-to-die organization.

  10. Edmund said:

    A great loss. Dr. Freedom was a more appropriate name for him! R.I.P

  11. Hrant K. said:

    A great human being, who assisted hopeless cases from infinite agony and deep pain, thru

    their immediate family members’ consent- should have not been rewarded by 8 long years’

    imprisonment! Murderers are set free and indefinite painkillers are thrown behind bars! Just

    like Genocide executors are unpunished, and their victims are awaiting justice for 96 years!

  12. Simon said:

    It is a shame to put such a great man a great Doctor in 8 years jail.
    He has served the Humanity…letting the terminally ill persons
    where there is really no hope to cure, to pass away without (or may be a very little) pain. He should have
    been Admired greatly…Jail no-way, not even for one day…

  13. bigmoustache said:

    he was another intellectual armenian who broke ground, very proud

  14. Arto T. said:

    Whether you agree with his beliefs or not you have to admire his conviction. That conviction he steadfastly held all his life and even gave up eight years of his life. Most people are ready to abandon their convictions to save their skins.

  15. Viken Karapetian said:

    Dr. Kevorkian’s legacy will be that he created debate and recognition on a taboo subject: handling death. The misconception about Dr. K was that he encouraged suicide as a form of treatment. Instead, he presented it as an option for individuals who had an incurable disease, who were in the final stage of their disease, and were in immense, indescribable pain.

    His flaw was that he believed he could single-handedly change the perception of the medical community. It was only after televising a suicide administration, that he was prosecuted.

  16. Avo Shahinian said:

    He was a great person far humane and civilized, the pionir scout of providence, a real hero.

  17. manooshag said:

    Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a brave, honest humanitarian… whose persistence, an Armenian trait, shines.
    You opened doors which others could not (but pursued quietly) openly, bravely, facing even jail. Hogeh tetev elah koo verat… (May ground above lay lightly upon you).

  18. Seervart said:

    Satenik, You know who put Dr. Kevorkian in prison for 8 years, his adversaries.

    • Satenik said:

      It wouldn’t surprise me in the least. For a man of such vision to be sentenced to prison, reflects the crazy and corrupt system of the country that he lived in!

  19. Arziv said:

    A giant amongst pygmies. Don’t fall under the yoke of America. Profound insight from a master. Keep your language, learn your language, keep your traditions, honor your history. Keep your armenian race. He was incarcerated unjustly, for his enlightenement. He is gone for ever, we are the poorer with his passing away; he’ll have his place in the pantheon in Erevan.; just like W. Saroyan

  20. ArdeVast Atheian said:

    I’m so very proud that the kind of pioneering ideological leaps that created our Western Civilization has been taken up by an Armenian guy.
    What used to be the purview of Jewish ideologues and innovators exclusively has now been taken up by an Armenian Scientist, scholar and ideologue.
    Of course I’m proud. May there be many others. It’s time for us to fill the gap and excel in this measure of pioneering thought.

*

Top