VIEWS: 13 PAGES: 2 CATEGORY: Medicine POSTED ON: 7/2/2010
"Dr. Death" made headlines in his quest to legalize assisted suicide, and his name continues to be thrown around to describe people and policies related to the issue. The elitism also turns its attention to religion, giving it patronizing treatment and accusing it of being one of the main reasons Americans have reacted negatively to death-related research and change (at one point, he turned to military application for an experiment with cadaver blood because he was sure that the army wouldn't be "held hostage by religious objections" as apparently the medical community and the public were [HO]).
ethiCs & mediCine Between the Dying and the Dead: Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s Life and the Battle to Legalize Euthanasia Neal Nicol and Harry Wylie. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2006. I S B N 9 7 8 - 0 - 2 9 9 - 2 1 7 1 0 - 8 ; 2 7 3 PA G E S , H A R D C O V E R , $ 2 7 . 9 5 Dr. Jack Kevorkian stands as one of the most recognizable public villains of past decades. “Dr. Death” made headlines in his quest to legalize assisted suicide, and his name continues to be thrown around to describe people and policies related to the issue. Between the Dying and the Dead provides a window into his life. The work begins close to the present time, describing the case that led to Kevorkian’s imprisonment. It then turns back the clock to relate Jack’s life story from the beginning. The rest of the book follows this format, detailing aspects of his childhood, education, research, and imprisonment. It includes several informative and interesting details, some shedding important light on his understanding of suffering (such as his parents’ flight from the Armenian genocide of World War I [25-31] and his mother’s painful battle with cancer [112-114]) and others merely interesting (such as Jack’s failed attempt at producing a film based on Handel’s Messiah [125-130] or his unfruitful business venture into the realm of professional sports merchandize ). Nicol and Wylie follow Jack through his trials and ultimately imprisonment. Published in 2006, the book ends before Kevorkian’s parole in 2007. Nicol and Wylie are two of Kevorkian’s closest companions. This relationship leads to interesting stories and inside information, but those looking for a somewhat-neutral biography will be disappointed. The authors clearly side with Kevorkian’
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