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Kevorkian Asks Again For Early Release Due To Health Problems
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 12, 2005

LAPEER, MICHIGAN--Jack Kevorkian's attorney is asking Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to act with "compassion" and issue a pardon or commute the sentence of the 77-year-old "Dr. Death" because of his health problems.

Attorney Mayer Morganroth told reporters last week that prison doctors informed Kevorkian that his liver has deteriorated from Hepatitis C to the point that it could fail soon and he might need a transplant in order to survive.

Morganroth said the assisted suicide crusader has high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, temporal arteritis, peripheral arthritis, adrenal insufficiency, chronic pulmonary obstruction disease and cataracts, the Associated Press reported.

Granhom's spokesperson said the governor would wait until the state parole board makes its recommendation based on a health evaluation it has ordered of Kevorkian.

Last year, Granholm decided not to pardon Kevorkian at the board's recommendation after his attorney made a similar plea based on his health.

Kevorkian was convicted in March 1999 of second-degree murder after inducing the death of Thomas Youk, a man who had amyotropic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Kevorkian's conviction came after replaying Youk's videotaped death on the "60 Minutes" television news magazine. He was sentenced to a 10- to 25-year sentence, and will first be eligible for parole in 2007.

By his own admission, Kevorkian assisted at least 130 people to kill themselves as part of his campaign to make doctor-assisted suicide legal in the United States.

A movie about Kevorkian is currently under production and is expected to be released in 2006.

Many disability rights advocates have long opposed Kevorkian and his crusade to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia. They have argued that doing so would essentially make it "open season" for people with disabilities and anyone else who is considered undesirable or a "burden" on society -- particularly at a time when the cost of health care is high. They have pointed out that most of those Kevorkian helped end their lives were in emotional, psychological or social crises, not in the final stages of terminal illnesses as was originally believed.

"Jack Kevorkian: Dr. Death" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)

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