For nearly a decade, Dr. Jack Kevorkian waged a defiant campaign to help other people kill themselves, FOX news reports.
The retired pathologist left bodies at hospital emergency rooms and motels and videotaped a death that was broadcast on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” His actions prompted battles over assisted suicide in many states.
But as he prepares to leave prison June 1 after serving more than eight years of a 10- to 25-year sentence in the death of a Michigan man, Kevorkian will find that there’s still only one state that has a law allowing physician-assisted suicide — Oregon.
Experts say that’s because abortion opponents, Catholic leaders, advocates for the disabled and often doctors have fought the efforts of other states to follow the lead of Oregon, where the law took effect in late 1997.
Opponents defeated a measure in Vermont this year and are fighting similar efforts in California. Bills have failed in recent years in Hawaii, Wisconsin and Washington state, and ballot measures were defeated earlier by voters in Washington, California, Michigan and Maine
Kevorkian has promised he’ll never again advise or counsel anyone about assisted suicide once he’s out of prison. But his attorney, Mayer Morganroth, said Kevorkian isn’t going to stop pushing for more laws allowing it.
The state wants to go after money that Kevorkian makes following his release to help cover the cost of his incarceration. Morganroth has said his client has been offered as much as $100,000 to speak. Many of those speeches are expected to be on assisted suicide.
“It’s got to be legalized,” Kevorkian said in a phone interview from prison aired by a Detroit TV station on Monday. “I’ll work to have it legalized. But I won’t break any laws doing it.”