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The War On Sanity
Dr. Kevorkian is rotting in prison, and likely to die there. Here's a story on his plight by Tracy Ward of the suburban Detroit Oakland Press:

He's nearly 76 years old now, a man who tried to change the world, only to be forced to watch from behind bars as the cause he championed plods forward without him.

And that's where Jack Kevorkian believes he'll die - in prison.

"There's no doubt I expect to die in prison," said Kevorkian, talking from a pay phone outside his prison cell at the Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer. "All the big powers they've silenced me. ... So much for free speech and choice on this fundamental human right."

Talking for the first time since he was sent to prison in 1999, Kevorkian told The Daily Oakland Press about prison life, the torturous boredom and his fellow inmates. He spoke about why there has been no hue and cry for his release. Not from the public. Not from the Hemlock Society. Not even from the families of those he helped to die.

If he feels forsaken by the people he tried to help, Kevorkian won't acknowledge it - even as he sits alone behind steel bars and concrete walls, imprisoned by the razor-topped wire fence outside.

"No, I don't feel abandoned; I knew what I was doing," he said, in the 15-minute telephone interview. "Look, it's OK. They're frightened. They won't do anything. I knew that. I didn't do this for other people; I did this for me. I fought for this right for me - does that sound selfish?

"The American people are sheep. They're comfortable, rich, working. It's like the Romans, they're happy with bread and their spectator sports. The Super Bowl means more to them than any right."

All told, it is estimated Kevorkian, tagged "Dr. Death" by the media, helped more than 130 people to their deaths during the 1990s. In a volatile, sometimes circuslike atmosphere, he was arrested and acquitted and arrested again.

His critics charged he was ghoulish, fascinated with death. Admirers lauded his bravery.

But those from both sides agree the odd, thin-faced retired Royal Oak pathologist, alongside his former attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, nearly single-handedly forced the nation to confront the issue of doctor-assisted suicide and the suffering endured by terminal patients.

In the end, it was the 1998 CBS "60 Minutes" broadcast of the death of Lou Gehrig's disease patient Thomas Youk that brought Kevorkian's work to an end. He was sentenced in 1999 to 10-25 years on second-degree murder charges.

Today, prisoner No. 284797, who wears a navy blue jumpsuit with an orange stripe, is living in a 7-by-11-foot cell with a radio, his books and crosswords. Never married, with no children, Kevorkian will be eligible for parole in 2007 when he is 79 years old.

Kevorkian's attorney Mayer Morganroth, a $600-an-hour attorney who befriended Kevorkian and represents him for less money because he believes in what Kevorkian advocated, is hoping the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will review Kevorkian's conviction. Unlike Fieger, Morganroth shut down the media, though he said Barbara Walters and Mike Wallace still call, hoping for on-camera interviews with Kevorkian.

Morganroth said those early, sometimes vitriolic attacks against judges and political figures hurt his client, but that Kevorkian is a different person now.

But the courts have been immovable.

"In my 50 years of practice, I've never seen anything like this," Morganroth said, shaking his head. "Any other client would be out."

"Look at the forces against me," Kevorkian said, listing the government, the American Medical Association, pharmaceutical companies and religion. "Is there anything more powerful than these four?"

"They don't want me out," he added a few minutes later. "They're afraid I'll cause trouble if I get out."

News on Kevorkian's pretty desperate medical condition is here. Here's a guy who ended the suffering of people who were desperate to have him help them end their suffering. It seems this runs contrary to the primitive religious beliefs favored by many in our country. Their fairy tale books say it's wrong to "kill," so there you have it, Dr. Kevorkian dying in jail for doing the most humane thing he possibly could for these people. A word to all of the rational people out there: Just because there are more of them than there are of us doesn't mean they aren't all insane to some degree -- operating on intellectual fairy juice and one step away from thinking Santa Claus is actually going to slide down their chimneys come Christmas eve.

Posted by aalkon at December 23, 2005 6:57 AM

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