- (Photo: Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)
Jack Kevorkian, who helped more than 100 people end their lives, died Friday in Michigan. He was 83.
Known as "Dr. Death," Kevorkian was a notorious physician-assisted suicide advocate who tried to get it legalized in the states. He himself has assisted in the suicides of 130 people.
Currently, only Oregon, Washington state and Montana allow assisted suicides for terminally ill patients.
Kevorkian served eight years in jail after being convicted of second degree murder in 1999. He had injected a lethal dose of potassium chloride into a patient suffering from Lou Gehrig's Disease. Though he was sentenced to 10-25 years in prison, he was released early for good behavior.
Kevorkian died in a Michigan hospital. The cause of death was not immediately known but the Detroit Free Press reported that he died after a blood clot from his leg broke free and lodged in his heart. He had been hospitalized at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak with kidney and heart problems.
"It was peaceful, he didn’t feel a thing," his attorney, Mayer Morganroth, told the local publication.
Order Online: Bioethics - A Primer for Christians
A poll released earlier this week found that Americans are divided on the issue of doctor assisted suicide. Less than half of Americans (48 percent) believe it is immoral while 45 percent consider it to be morally acceptable, according to Gallup.
Among evangelicals, most do not approve of terminating lives intentionally.
In 2009, a group of prominent evangelicals, including Chuck Colson, drafted the Manhattan Declaration, affirming the dignity of human life, among other things. On the subjec to euthanasia, the declaration states:
"At the other end of life, an increasingly powerful movement to promote assisted suicide and 'voluntary' euthanasia threatens the lives of vulnerable elderly and disabled persons. Eugenic notions such as the doctrine of lebensunwertes Leben ('life unworthy of life') were first advanced in the 1920s by intellectuals in the elite salons of America and Europe. Long buried in ignominy after the horrors of the mid-20th century, they have returned from the grave. The only difference is that now the doctrines of the eugenicists are dressed up in the language of 'liberty,' 'autonomy,' and 'choice.'"