Kevorkian to campaign for assisted suicide

If paroled from prison, which could be as soon as 2007, doctor would
plan legal fight

The Michigan Daily
September 30, 2005

LAPEER, Mich. (AP) -- If released from prison, Jack Kevorkian plans to
use the legal system to campaign for changes to assisted-suicide laws,
the former doctor said in an interview from prison.

Kevorkian spoke with MSNBC's Rita Cosby during a televised interview
that was scheduled to air on the network at 9 p.m. yesterday.

In excerpts from the interview released to the media in advance of its
airing, the 77-year-old said that if he is granted parole in 2007, his
earliest possible release date, he plans to travel and visit family as
well as resume his efforts to legalize assisted suicide.

But Kevorkian emphasized that he would not help those who want to die by
breaking the law again, or encourage other doctors to do so until it's
legal.

"I have said publicly and officially that I will not perform that act
again when I get out," he said. "What I'll do is what I should have done
earlier, is pursue this from a legal standpoint by campaigning to get
the laws changed."

When asked by Cosby if he regretted the actions that put him in prison,
Kevorkian replied: "Well, I do a little."

"It was disappointing because what I did turned out to be in vain, even
though I know it could possibly end that way," Kevorkian said. "And my
only regret was not having done it through the legal system, through
legislation, possibly."

Kevorkian, who is being held at the Thumb Correctional Facility in
Lapeer, is serving a 10- to 25-year sentence for second-degree murder
after being convicted of giving a fatal injection of drugs to a Lou
Gehrig's disease patient in 1998.

Kevorkian has said he assisted in at least 130 deaths, and Gov. Jennifer
Granholm has said she won't consider pardoning him.

During the interview, Kevorkian also discussed the case of Terri
Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman whose feeding tube was removed
after her husband won a court order to do so.

Kevorkian said that had the woman's situation come up 10 years ago, he
would have considered taking her on as a patient because her husband was
her legal next-of-kin and because medical officials had determined that
nothing could be done to help her.

Kevorkian has signed off on a book and a movie about his life, both of
which are expected to be released sometime next year. Producers have
mentioned Ben Kingsley as a possible choice to play Kevorkian.

"He's a great actor," Kevorkian said. "And beside that, he carries the
implication of Gandhi, which is OK with me also."


PHOTO CAPTION: Jack Kevorkian is shown in this Feb. 9, l996, file photo.
If released from prison, Kevorkian plans to use the legal system to
campaign for changes to assisted-suicide laws, the former doctor said in
an interview from prison. (AP PHOTO)

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