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posted: 7/1/2011 3:00 AM

Is there irony in Kevorkian's death?

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Dr. Jack Kevorkian died in the non-assisted suicide of state of Michigan. Though he suffered painful respiration and kidney problems, he decided not to use his suicide machine on himself, maybe because it would have violated his jail release agreement (convicted of 130 counts of second-degree murder for a maximum of 25 years) "that he would never conduct another assisted suicide."

The news of his death did not include any reports of friends or members of his Compassion & Choices group, formerly the Hemlock Society, visiting him in his last days. The American Medical Association called him "a reckless instrument of death, who poses a great threat to the public." The National Catholic Bioethics Center said, "His death is no less sad than the death of any human being. We only can hope he experienced the wonderful benefits of palliative care that should be available to all persons as they approach the end of life."

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Ed Smetana

Arlington Heights

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