University of Florida Postpones Jack Kevorkian Speech Until January

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 4, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

University of Florida Postpones Jack Kevorkian Speech Until January Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 4,

Gainesville, FL ( — Saying it is worried about security in light of concerns at other college campuses, the University of Florida has decided to postpone a controversial speech by euthanasia advocate Jack Kevorkian. The speech would be his first following his release from prison for killing a disabled man and showing the death on national television.

Kevorkian was slated to speak to UF students on October 11 and receive $50,000 for the talk, as long as his parole officers approve the trip.

Now the speech has been postponed until January 15 as UF officials say they need more time to beef up their security in light of the recent tazering incident.

The pro-life youth group Rock for Life has been working with Terri Schiavo’s family and others to try to get the college to call off the speech.

In a statement obtained, Rock for Life said "We still plan on going down to the University of Florida if the Jack Kevorkian speech isn’t cancelled."

"Currently we are working with the pro-life student group to pressure the University to cancel the speech," the group added. "Many of the students are very disappointed that the school is spending [tends of thousands] to bring ‘Dr. Death’ on campus."

The group indicated Kevorkian is getting an additional $7,500 for the inconvenience of being postponed.

Meanwhile, the Schindler family has been leading an effort to stop the speech by gathering petitions from concerned citizens so Kevorkian doesn’t get a platform in their home state.

They don’t want the former pathologist telling students that people with disabilities should be killed, like their sister, rather than receiving appropriate medical treatment or rehabilitative care.

Bobby Schindler, Terri’s brother, told, "We have collected thousands of petitions (and they are still coming in) to deliver to the Office of the President of the University of Florida."

"We’re demanding the University rescind its offer to pay $50,000 for Kevorkian to address the students," he added.

"Despite the ongoing message of death spreading through our society and those, like Jack Kevorkian, who attempt to justify killing the most vulnerable among us, we are committed to fight against this death-obsessed culture and spread Terri’s legacy of life, hope and love," Schindler explained.

He said pro-life people and others worried about Kevorkian’s pro-assisted suicide message should sign a petition asking the University of Florida to cancel the speech.

The petition can be found at the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation web site.

ACTION: You can also contact the University of Florida President J. Bernard Machen at 352-392-1311 or [email protected].