by Steven Ertelt
December 6, 2005
Lapeer, MI (LifeNews.com) — The attorney for convicted assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian says his health has deteriorated quickly since filing a third request for a pardon weeks ago. Attorney Mayer Morganroth says Kevorkian telephoned him from prison a short time ago with news from prison doctors that that his liver enzymes are now triple of what is normal.
"I’m alarmed," Morganroth said of 77 year-old Kevorkian, "because it now appears that the Hepatitis C Dr. Kevorkian contacted while testing blood transfusions given to American soldiers during Vietnam is attacking his liver."
"I’m fearful for Dr. Kevorkian because if his liver fails it leaves only two avenues," Morganroth said. "Either a liver transplant or death."
Last month, Morganroth submitted his third request for Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to pardon or commit his sentence.
Kevorkian was convicted in April 1999 of killing Thomas Youk, a Detroit-area man with Lou Gehrig’s disease whose death was shown on the CBS television show "60 Minutes." He argued the murder was a euthanasia or mercy killing, but was sentenced for 10 to 25 years in prison.
He is not eligible for parole until 2007 and both a state parole board and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm declined to release him earlier on two other requests in 2003 and 2004.
Kevorkian resides at the Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer, Michigan.
In a statement obtained by LifeNews.com, Morganroth also said Kevorkian suffers from dangerously high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, temporal arteritis, peripheral arthritis, adrenal insufficiency, chronic pulmonary obstruction disease and cataracts.
Assisted suicide is not legal in Michigan and Kevorkian would not be able to avail himself of the method of death he used to kill the more than 150 people he claims to have aided in ending their lives.
Kevorkian told MSNBC in September he would travel and visit family if granted parole, but he insisted he would not practice assisted suicide or encourages others to do so.
Reporters Rita Cosby asked him if he regretted the assisted suicide deaths of more than 130 people, Kevorkian replied, "Well, I do a little."
Kevorkian also told Cosby that, had Terri Schiavo been presented to him 10 years ago, he would have taken her on as another assisted suicide case.
Michigan authors and Kevorkian friends Neal Nicol and Harry Wylie say they have been helping Kevorkian to prepare a 300-page manuscript, tentatively titled "The Life of Dr. Death." Kevorkian has been shopping it around to publishers.
Oscar-winning director Barbara Kopple and producer Steve Jones plan to begin filming a movie version in Michigan later this year.
Jones says Oscar winner Ben Kingsley would head the short list of people he would like to play the imprisoned coroner. Kingsley is a three time Oscar nominee who won the award for best actor in 1982 for his role in the film Gandhi.