Between the Dying and the Dead: Dr. Jack Kevorkian's Life and the Battle to Legalize Euthanasia

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Terrace Books, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 276 pages
Dr. Jack Kevorkianthe enigmatic and intrepid physician dubbed Dr. Deathhas for years declined public interviews about his life and the events that led him to be a vehement advocate of doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. But here, finally, is his own life story, as told to Neal Nicol and Harry Wylie. Dr. Kevorkian gained international notoriety in the 1990s for his passionate advocacy of choice for terminal patients, who have increasingly won the right to decide the time, place, and method of their own death in several western countries. In 1998, he assisted Thomas Youk, a terminally ill patient suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease, with a lethal injection that was broadcast on CBS's 60 Minutes. Immediately thereafter, Kevorkian was arrested, charged with second-degree murder, tried, and sentenced to 10-25 years in Michigan's maximum-security prison system. Today, Dr. Kevorkian is in his late seventies and in failing health himself. He shares an eight-by-twelve-foot cell with another inmate in the Thumb Correctional Facility at Lapeer, Michigan. The unique story Prisoner Number 284797 shares far exceeds the battle to legalize euthanasia and end human suffering for terminal patients. Personal choice is really what it is all about. Quality of life, as opposed to maintaining existence (Kevorkian to Vanity Fair, 1994)Co-published with Vision, U.K.
 

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Between the dying and the dead: Dr. Jack Kevorkian's life and the battle to legalize euthanasia

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Dr. Jack Kevorkian, imprisoned in Michigan since 1999, authorized this biography by friends Nicol, a coworker since 1961, and Wylie, a former neighbor, who portray him as brilliant and multifaceted ... Read full review

Contents

The Crucible
1
Genocide
25
The Rise of a Rebel
32
The Formative Years
50
Notoriety
69
Blood Brothers
94
The Wilderness Years
115
The Beginning of the End
142
Trials and Errors
184
Eccentricities
205
Defending Himself
214
Prisoner 284797
231
Viscus
248
Legacy
259
About the Authors
273
Copyright

The Helpers and the Helped
155

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Page v - Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.

About the author (2006)

Neal Nicol has been a friend and coworker of Dr. Kevorkian since 1961. He was a willing guinea pig in the doctor's research in cadaver blood transfusion and chromium 51 cell survival studies. His medical training as a corpsman and laboratory technician enabled him to assist Dr. Kevorkian on many occasions, while his laboratory supply company often provided materials necessary for Dr. Kevorkian's efforts. Nicol regularly visits Dr. Kevorkian in prison and continues to be a steadfast supporter of the right to die.
Harry Wylie is a longtime friend and confidant of Dr. Kevorkian. Harry and his wife, Arlene, were Dr. Kevorkian's next-door neighbors and are two of the ten people on the doctor's prison visitation list. They visited him on a monthly basis for five years and now, residing alternately in Mexico and Canada, speak weekly with him by phone.

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