Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the central figure in our nation's drama surrounding assisted suicide, died today in Mich.
He was 83 and had been hospitalized with pneumonia and a recurring kidney condition. Dr. Kevorkian, a medical pathologist who challenged social taboos about disease and dying, defied prosecutors, as well as the courts so he could help terminally ill patients end their lives at times of their own choosing.
Dr Death spent eight years behind bars after being convicted of second-degree murder in the death of the latest of more than 100 patients whose suicides he assisted starting in 1990.
His stubborn advocacy for the right of the terminally ill to choose how they could die is widely credited with sparking a boom in hospice care in this country and with making doctors sympathetic to their pain and willing to prescribe drugs to relieve symptoms... RIP, Dr. D.