Death on Demand: Jack Kevorkian and the Right-to-Die Movement

Death on Demand: Jack Kevorkian and the Right-to-Die Movement

by Michael DeCesare


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Death on Demand explores the polarizing role of Jack Kevorkian-"Dr. Death"-as the most visible leader of the right-to-die movement. From a feature on the cover of Time magazine to interviews on shows like 60 Minutes, Kevorkian was a high-profile figure in the right-to-die movement, capturing constant media attention as he helped more than one hundred people kill themselves.

The book opens with the death of Janet Adkins in 1990-Kevorkian's first assisted suicide-then travels back to Kevorkian's medical school days and follows his nearly four decades as a lone activist. Death on Demand draws on Kevorkian's interviews and published work as well as newspaper and magazine articles to describe the doctor's publicity stunts, criminal trials, years in prison, and activities after he was paroled. Author Michael DeCesare examines Kevorkian's actions in the context of the right-to-die movement to understand his crucial role in bringing the controversial practice of assisted suicide into the public conversation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442242135
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 07/30/2015
Pages: 246
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Michael DeCesare is professor and chair of the sociology department at Merrimack College. He is coeditor of New Directions in Sociology and author of A Discipline Divided.

Table of Contents

Introduction: From Janet Adkins to Brittany Maynard
1. "A Self-Imposed Mission": Four Decades of Lone Activism
2. "They'll Be After Me For This": Lighting a Movement's Fuse
3. "A Serial Mercy Killer On Our Hands": The Emergence of Dr. Death
4. "We're Some Friends of Dr. Kevorkian's": Pushing for the Right to Die
5. "A Game of Cat and Mouse": Kevorkian on Trial
6. "I Prefer Jail to Bail": Forcing a Showdown
7. "Well, Sir, Consider Yourself Stopped": A Leader's Fall and a Movement's Decline
Conclusion: Death with Dignity-After Kevorkian

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