Friday, June 17, 2011

St. Kavorkian - Doctor of Euthanasia

Dr. Jack Kavorkian. Remember Jack? Dr. Death? No, some people mostly people no longer with us, if they could come back, just might see him as an Angel. He famously said, "dying is not a crime". And if you need to die, an no one will help you, that, is Hell. 

If you don't believe it, try being in constant and extreme pain, knowing its for the rest of your life and no one will do a thing to help it stop; in fact, they will do everything they can to prolong your pain and discomfort, all the while saying they are doing either God's will, following their Hypocratic Oath, or simply trying to "make you comfortable" until you die. All the while, you just want to die. Now.

I don't think he was the nut, or the death lover people made him out to be. I know he stood for something we need to deal with and are too chicken to want to deal with. It also is a topic that Doctors are too afraid to deal with. Why, are we so scared of something so universal as death? Really, it's something we should deal with.

Beginning in 1999, Kevorkian served eight years of a 10-to-25-year prison sentence for second-degree murder. June 1, of 2007, he was released on parole on the condition that he would not offer suicide advice to any other person. He died in 2011.

A Kavorkian "War"

Wikipedia indicates that Dr. Kevorkian marketed limited quantities of his visual and musical artwork to the public having also been an oil painter and a jazz musician for years. Kevorkian was a jazz musician and composer. The Kevorkian Suite: A Very Still Life was a 1997 limited release CD of 5,000 copies from the 'Lucid Subjazz' label. It features Kevorkian on the flute and organ playing his own works with "The Morpheus Quintet". It was reviewed in Entertainment Weekly online as "weird" but "good natured".

Like with the Donor options of some years ago, where the government pushed for people to sign their body parts over to the public need in event of death, it was a terrible subject to bring up, but we finally did and it became a kind of "why aren't you donating" when you die stigma. Why? Because in the end, the loss of so many organs and so much meat and tissue from humans on a daily, even hourly basis, when so many could use that to have longer, fuller lives, was ridiculous.

During the Vietnam war Dr. Kavorkian found that you could use a cadaver to replenish the blood of a wounded soldier and that the Russians had been doing it for years. So if two soldiers get hit, one dies and one needs blood, and the deceased soldier has compatible blood according to his dog tags, you could save the living solder's life. But no, that wasn't the John Wayne way. Or, whatever.

He also found that by studying a person's eyes, you can tell if and when they had truly died. Rather than do that however, the establishment that be, preferred to spend thousands on a machine to do the same thing. Jack was always attracted to the odd or taboo. But this was a good thing. We just didn't want to believe it. He was odd, so we wanted to discount him. Our loss.

This man had a lot of good ideas and he had enough compassion for the dying that he thought they should be given not the dignity of dying when they wanted, but the compassion to relieve their suffering.

For those who point out the abuses that corporations, the State, or relatives can make on the no longer desired elderly, that is not an argument against this, it is simply lazy thinking. Dispassionate thinking not unlike that of those who would deny Cannabis to cancer patients in great pain or discomfort.

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