Called Doctor Death in the media after years of helping terminally ill patients commit suicide, Jack Kevorkian’s name has become synonymous with the controversy of doctor assisted suicide. For years he challenged prosecutors, daring them to convict him, grandstanding at trials in powdered wigs and arguments with the judges. He assisted over a hundred patients in ending their own lives, hooking them up to specially designed machines but always leaving the actual final act to the patient. Until 1998, when Kevorkian released a video tape showing him kill terminally ill Thomas Youk, who was too ill to even press a button himself. That final crossed line sent Kevorkian to prison for second degree homicide.
Hero? Sociopath with the world’s greatest excuse? The truth is undoubtedly somewhere in the muddy waters between.
HBO has produced a film on Jack Kevorkian starring Al Pacino called “You Don’t Know Jack.” It’s expected to air in April and also stars Susan Sarandon and John Goodman. So it’s going to have a real conservative spin to it. Trailer below.