Dr. Jack Kevorkian will be granted parole from a prison in Michigan on June 1, the time when he would be eligible to be considered. His attorney is working on securing his release sooner claiming that Dr. Kevorkian is seriously ill with high blood pressure, hepatitis and, more recently, with two broken ribs.
The retired pathologist received a 10-25 year sentence for providing a lethal injection to Thomas Youk a 52 year old man with terminal ALS, or motor neuron disease in 1998. Mr. Youk’s family was in agreement with his wishes. In 1998 his wife Melody and his brother Terry stood in for Jack Kevorkian when he received the $50,000 award from the Gleitsman Foundation for Humanitarian of the Year. In fact, they had nominated him.
Dr. Kevorkian, 78, has promised he would not assist in a suicide if he was released from prison. Since his first assisted suicide in 1990 where he helped Janet Adkins, a woman from ORegon who had Alzheimer’s Disease, he stated that he helped 130 people die. Though he had enlisted his patient’s aid to end their lives before, Mr. Youk was too sick to provide any assistance so a lethal injection — legal in the NEtherlands and in Belgium — was the only method that could be used.
Dr. Kevorkian taped the end of Mr. Youk’s life and sent it to Mike Wallace who showed it to an audience of 30 million people on Sixty Minutes. Dr. Kevorkian said that he wanted to be prosecuted and wound up being his own lawyer during the short trial. Though the judge had discretion to sentence him to probation, she gave him the maximum sentence for second degree murder, which is what the jury found him guilty of. He will live in a friend’s home near Detroit when he is released.
The World Federation board wrote him a letter of support in November, 2006. It can be read in the most recent edition of the World Federation Newlsetter on this website.