Dr. Jack Kevorkian—the enigmatic and intrepid physician dubbed "Dr. Death"—has for years declined public interviews about his life and the events that led him to be a vehement advocate of doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. But here, finally, is his own life story, as told to Neal Nicol and Harry Wylie.
Dr. Kevorkian gained international notoriety in the 1990s for his passionate advocacy of choice for terminal patients, who have increasingly won the right to decide the time, place, and method of their own death in several western countries. In 1998, he assisted Thomas Youk, a terminally ill patient suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease, with a lethal injection that was broadcast on CBS's 60 Minutes. Immediately thereafter, Kevorkian was arrested, charged with second-degree murder, tried, and sentenced to 10-25 years in Michigan's maximum-security prison system.
Today, Dr. Kevorkian is in his late seventies and in failing health himself. He shares an eight-by-twelve-foot cell with another inmate in the Thumb Correctional Facility at Lapeer, Michigan. The unique story Prisoner Number 284797 shares far exceeds the battle to legalize euthanasia and end human suffering for terminal patients. "Personal choice is really what it is all about. Quality of life, as opposed to maintaining existence" (Kevorkian to Vanity Fair, 1994)
Co-published with Vision, U.K.
|Publisher:||University of Wisconsin Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Neal Nicol has been a friend and coworker of Dr. Kevorkian since 1961. He was a willing guinea pig in the doctor's research in cadaver blood transfusion and chromium 51 cell survival studies. His medical training as a corpsman and laboratory technician enabled him to assist Dr. Kevorkian on many occasions, while his laboratory supply company often provided materials necessary for Dr. Kevorkian's efforts. Nicol regularly visits Dr. Kevorkian in prison and continues to be a steadfast supporter of the right to die.
Harry Wylie is a longtime friend and confidant of Dr. Kevorkian. Harry and his wife, Arlene, were Dr. Kevorkian's next-door neighbors and are two of the ten people on the doctor's prison visitation list. They visited him on a monthly basis for five years and now, residing alternately in Mexico and Canada, speak weekly with him by phone.