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Dr Jack Kevorkian free at last (on June 1, 2007)

The Euthanasia Research and Guidance Organization (ERGO) heartily welcomes the release from prison on parole of Dr. Jack Kevorkian after serving eight years of a 10-25 years sentence in Michigan, USA.

We hope that he can enjoy a well-deserved retirement — he is 79 — amongst his friends and supporters. In a better environment we trust his health will improve.

According to the existing letter of the law, Dr. Kevorkian was correctly convicted of murder. But for those who saw his helping a man dying in great pain and distress, and asking to die now, his action was justified and merciful. This case made clear that the laws governing homicide need
modifying to allow a plea of mercy killing, allowing juries to decide.

Now that Dr. Kevorkian has promised the authorities that he will not assist in any more deaths, we hope that he will give real backing to the legislative efforts of the right to die movement as he has promised from prison. He has expressed regret for not doing this beforehand.

The one undoubted benefit of his ten-year solo euthanasia campaign in the l990s was making the general public aware of the unrecognized suffering of many dying people, and that physician-assisted suicide was oftentimes their choice of dealing with it. Kevorkian’s hugely popular voice could be influential in future attempts at law reform.

Only the state of Oregon in America has so far legalized physician-assisted suicide; there is a long struggle ahead to get this benefit to other Americans. Holland, Belgium and Switzerland already have it.

—–Derek Humphry
Founder of the Hemlock Society 1980
President, ERGO * Author ‘Final Exit’
ergo@finalexit.org www.finalexit.org

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