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Kevorkian Attorney Cites Medical Conditions In Plea For Early Release, Again
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 19, 2006

SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN--Jack Kevorkian's attorney asked Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to issue a pardon or commute the sentence of the 78-year-old "Dr. Death" Friday because of his health problems.

Attorney Mayer Morganroth said in a press statement that Kevorkian has "become increasingly frail and has fallen twice, injuring his wrist and fracturing two ribs."

He added that the assisted suicide campaigner has a long list of medical conditions, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, temporal arthritis, active Hepatitis C, peripheral arteritis, adrenal insufficiency, chronic pulmonary obstruction disease, hypertensive cardiovascular disease, cataracts, diplopia, vertigo, dysphagia, headaches, left ventricular hypertrophy, osteoporosis, ataxia and eschemia.

"Jack doesn't have very many days left," Morganroth wrote, explaining that Kevorkian likely would not survive another year if kept in prison.

This is the fourth year Kevorkian's attorney has petitioned for his early release on the basis of poor health. The state parole board has consistently recommended against releasing the assisted suicide campaigner who admitted to helping at least 130 people to kill themselves. Granholm has consistently followed the panel's recommendations.

In 1998, Michigan lawmakers passed a law banning assisted suicide specifically to stop Kevorkian's crusade.

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" CBS television news magazine. He was sentenced to a 10- to 25-year sentence, and will first be eligible for parole next year.

A movie about Kevorkian is currently under production and is expected to be released later this year.

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 many of those Kevorkian helped end their lives were in emotional, psychological or social crises, or had disabilities, but were not in the final stages of terminal illnesses as was originally believed.

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