Euthanasia Advocate Jack Kevorkian Changes Prisons, Wants Old One Back

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 20, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Euthanasia Advocate Jack Kevorkian Changes Prisons, Wants Old One Back Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 20, 2006

Coldwater, MI ( — Assisted suicide crusader Jack Kevorkian has been transferred to a new prison, but he now wants back at his old one. He was moved to Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater after requesting a change.

However, his attorney, Mayer Morganroth, says the 77 year-old former pathologist wants back at Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer.

Russ Marland, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections, told the Associated Press that Kevorkian has not requested to be moved back. They indicated that Kevorkian was transferred to Lakeland on February 10 where he shares a larger prison cell with four other prisoners.

Morganroth told AP that Kevorkian wants his own cell because he is dealing with a number of health issues and that Lakeland is too far from his doctor.

Morganroth also claims Kevorkian canceled the request to be transferred on the same day he made it, but state officials disagree. Marland said it would be a problem to let prisoners keep bouncing around within the corrections system.

"He asked for a single cell and said he didn’t want any place further than Jackson," Morganroth said.

In December, Morganroth said Kevorkian’s health has deteriorated quickly since filing a third request for a pardon in November.

In a statement obtained by, Morganroth also said Kevorkian suffers from dangerously high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, temporal arteritis, peripheral arthritis, adrenal insufficiency, chronic pulmonary obstruction disease and cataracts.

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.

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.