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Governor Orders Review Of Kevorkian's Health
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 31, 2006

COLDWATER, MICHIGAN--Under orders from Governor Jennifer Granholm, authorities have performed an independent evaluation of Jack Kevorkian's medical condition, the Detroit News reported Friday.

The results of that evaluation have not yet been revealed, but Kevorkian attorney Mayer Morganroth said in June that his client weighed just 113 pounds and has recently developed diabetes.

Morganroth appealed to the state parole board earlier this year asking for Kevorkian to be pardoned or his sentence to be commuted because his doctors said the former physician had less than one year to live. Morganroth said the 78-year-old assisted suicide campaigner had a long list of other medical conditions, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, temporal arthritis, and active Hepatitis C.

But the parole board recommended Kevorkian stay behind bars at least until his first scheduled parole hearing next June. Granholm has consistently followed the board's recommendations regarding Kevorkian.

Kevorkian admitted helping at least 130 people to take their lives in a campaign to promote legalization of physician-assisted suicide. In May, Kevorkian reportedly said that he now realizes he chose the wrong tactics, and instead should have lobbied "verbally" for legalization.

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 10 to 25 years in prison.

Many disability rights advocates have long opposed Kevorkian and his crusade to legalize assisted suicide. They have argued that doing so would essentially make it "open season" for people with disabilities who are often considered a "burden" on society -- particularly at a time when the cost of health care is so high. They have also noted that many people Kevorkian helped end their lives were not in the final stages of terminal illnesses, but instead had disabilities and were in emotional, psychological or social crises, which made them more vulnerable.

"Granholm orders Kevorkian report" (Detroit News)
"Jack Kevorkian: Dr. Death" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)

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