Read the article, titled “The Life and Deaths of Jack Kevorkian (1928–2011)”, located at http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2075644,00.html#ixzz2s1VqmyIt. Or use the Internet or the Strayer Library to research articles on Jack Kevorkian and his publicly championing a terminal patient’s right to die. Be prepared to discuss.
From the e-Activity, give your opinion of Jack Kevorkian’s saying, “dying is not a crime”, and analyze the manner in which his actions rose to the level of homicide. Provide one (1) example of his actions that meet the elements of a homicide.
Review State v. Lamy, 969 A.2d 451 (N.H. 2009) and the born alive requirement that are discussed in Chapter 10 of the text, determine one (1) ethical issue that may arise from social debate as a result of the requirement in question. Next, speculate upon one (1) approach that the court could take in order to address the ethical issue in question. Justify your response.
RESPOND TO FOLLOWING STATEMENT:
I remember hearing about Dr. Jack Kevorkian when I was a kid, and the negative connotations it had like Dr. Death, and what I understood then is far from what I understand today, I pictured him as a murderer. I am positive there are many who would say he was a murderer, without a doubt, but it was what the deceased wished. I believe that what Dr. Kevorkian meant by saying that ‘dying is not a crime” is that we do not take the dead to court or jail, there are no laws against dying, but there are many laws restricting how one dies. Murder, suicide are illegal in the United States, as in many other countries, and while we cannot go after someone who was successful in their suicide attempt, the government does go after those who are unsuccessful or those who assisted in a successful suicide. In many cases, those who are unsuccessful in a suicide attempt are brought to court, the government would say that it is to assess the person so they are not a danger to themselves or others.
Dr. Kevorkian was no stranger to the court system for his practice of assisted suicide, as he had been charged three times prior to his conviction of second degree murder in the state of Michigan in 1999. The reason for this conviction was due to Dr. Kevorkian the state of Michigan there are no rights to protect a physician from assisting someone with suicide. Dr. Kevorkian brought the equipment and supplies, and injected Thomas Youk, a man suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, with the lethal medication that ended his life. There are a few states like Oregon, California, Montana, Vermont and Washington do have Acts protecting physicians assisting in suicides, but each state has guidelines for assisted suicide, dates of enactment, and different terms for protection.