Heed them.

June 04, 2011

The Doctors are Sick and the Emporer's Naked

"For He is Raised" by Jack Kevorkian.
 It's easy to forget, even shortly after his death, that Dr. Jack Kevorkian was a pathologist, not a personal care physician. He has plenty of supporters nowadays, myself included, who are shedding crocodile tears about how compassionate he was and how humanitarian his cause was. The line to tow is this: Physician-assisted suicide should be legal because terminally ill people should not have to suffer.

That was Dr. Jack Kevorkians stated cause as well, but what he actually did was advertise himself as the first ever "Death Consultant", drive around Detroit in a Volkswagen bus with homemade mercy-killing machines, and assist people with their suicides. Not everyone Jack Kevorkian helped to die were terminally ill, many had a history of depression, and more than a dozen were killed less than 24 hours after he met them. In other words, these were only physician-assisted suicides because Kevorkian possessed a medical license.

Then his medical license was revoked, and he kept assisting suicides. You can imagine how, coupled with a skull-like face and confrontational anti-authoritarian attitude, he really freaked out America. And America should be freaked out. Death is scary. Jack Kevorkian is one of my personal heroes because he had the courage, along with the people he helped to die, to see what death really is. And in his own words:

"Dying is not a crime."

The issue of physician-assisted suicide, while obviously important to Jack Kevorkian, was not his entire life's work. Just see interviews with him or read what he had to say and you realize that he was much more radical than that. He campaigned for the right to die for anyone. As he eventually said:

 "What difference does it make if someone is terminal? We are all terminal."

He didn't help end anyone's life without consent, and after being imprisoned he eventually agreed to stop assisting suicides to be granted parole, proving he was not a compulsive killer or sociopath. His interests after he was released and his career as a death consultant ended included politics and a particular interest in the 9th Amendment. Why? Because he was making a political statement the whole time!

And it was the most radical thing any American Religionist had ever heard: this life is yours. You can do with it what you wish, you don't owe any Government or God or Society your suffering, time, or life. Not only that, you don't even have to follow the rules, or as he put it:

"When your conscience says law is immoral, don't follow it."

1 comment:

  1. Interesting stuff. "We are all terminal" is a great quote, and one I will be using in the future no doubt. Also, although it may cheapen the idea, it would be good on a T-shirt.