Euthanasia Crusader Jack Kevorkian Denied Third Parole Request

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 22, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Euthanasia Crusader Jack Kevorkian Denied Third Parole Request Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 22, 2005

Lapeer, MI ( — A Michigan state parole board has denied another parole request from the attorney for convicted assisted suicide crusader Jack Kevorkian. The latest request came after Kevorkian’s lawyer, Mayer Morganroth, said Kevorkian’s health was failing, leaving him in serious medical condition.

Morganroth has also pleaded with Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to parole Kevorkian, though she has followed the parole board’s recommendation and refused requests in 2003 and 2004.

Liz Boyd, a Granholm spokeswoman, said the governor would gain follow the parole board’s lead, according to an AP report.

The report also quoted a Michigan Corrections Department spokesman who said a prisoner’s health is included in the decision-making process on whether to grant a parole request.

Kevorkian suffers from high blood pressure, arthritis, cataracts, osteoporosis and Hepatitis C, Morganroth has said.

Earlier this month, Morganroth said Kevorkian telephoned him from prison with news from prison doctors that that his liver enzymes are now triple of what is normal.

"I’m alarmed," Morganroth said at the time 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 in a press release obtained by "Either a liver transplant or death."

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 resides at the Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer, Michigan.

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.

Reporter Rita Cosby asked him if he regretted the assisted suicide deaths, and 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 next 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.