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You Don't Know Jack: The Life and Deaths of Jack Kevorkian

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This movie was about the one physician in the USA that stood against the country's people and it's laws to try and help people die with some sort of dignity. Although when Jack Kevorkian push the lethal dose of a controlled substance himself, he took the assisted suicides to the level of murder. This one mistake may have cost Euthanasia several years of regression here in the USA.


Jack Kevorkian is known by many names; Dr. Kevorkian (even though his medical license has been revoked), Dr. Death, killer, murder, but what about Trailblazer, Angel of Mercy, or Hero... Jack Kevorkian helped so many people end their suffering when they chose to. He made it a dignified way to die. Everyone got to say their goodbyes instead of people waiting to long, and the patient got to make the determination while they still could. More importantly, the patients all had the autonomy to make their final decision.


The way I see it Jack Kevorkian was a man with a decent agenda. He saw patients suffering and found a way to help them. Jack also brought up a good question for me. Why is it that a patient can determine that they want to fight against Gods will (since we live in a mainly puritan society) and prolong life, but it is immorally and fought against when someone wants to do just the opposite? Jack Kevorkian was an Angel of Mercy to people suffering with uncontrollable pain, people that wanted to die with what little dignity that they may have left.

In the movie Jack's sister asked him, "How much do you charge for this service?". Jack's only response was a deeply saddened "You don't charge for a service like this.". Jack had a very rigorous screening process and even told a local radio station that he turned away 90% of the people that contacted him for this service. Kevorkian had a great veracity in telling the people he rejected that they needed to seek help somewhere else and that they were not in the state that was needed to have his service. Imagine telling a depressed person that is looking for a way out, that already botched a suicide attempt, that you aren't going to help them die...Even though that is your new profession.

Even though Jack was going against society values, and most doctors' ethical principles of nonmaleficence, do no harm to a patient, he was doing what the patient was requesting and giving them complete autonomy over their care. This service of mercy may be against the Benedictine Values, but I think Kevorkian followed some of them too. He was hospitable to his patients and tried to make it as comfortable as possible for everyone. He respected each clients wish and they could have stopped the service at anytime. In Kevorkian's ratiocination, he was providing a legal service to his patients that gave his patients'



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