Jack Kevorkian’s passing, regardless of your personal feelings, was a missed opportunity for us as a civilized society. He offered us the possibility of having an ethical/legal debate on the issue of euthanasia. I considered this a squandered moment in time. The problem remains unresolved. It is not a subject that will be solved easily or quickly; and remains hanging over us. if we ever arrive at the discussion there will be no one who has given it as much thought. The debate will begin from scratch.


Dr. Jack Kevorkian dead at 83

Dr. Jack Kevorkian dead at 83
June 3rd, 2011
08:49 AM ET

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the Michigan pathologist who put assisted suicide on the world’s medical ethics stage, died early Friday, according to a spokesman with Beaumont Hospital. He was 83.

The assisted-suicide advocate had been hospitalized in Michigan for pneumonia and a kidney-related ailment, his attorney Mayer Morganroth has said.

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Kevorkian’s favorite musician, was put on the intercom so he could hear the music as he was dying, Morganroth said.

The 83-year-old former pathologist had struggled with kidney problems for years and had checked into a hospital earlier this month for similar problems, his lawyer, Mayer Morganroth, told CNN last month. He checked back into Beaumont Hospital in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak on May 18 after suffering a relapse, Morganroth said.

Kevorkian, dubbed “Dr. Death,” made national headlines as a supporter of physician-assisted suicide and “right-to-die” legislation. He was charged with murder numerous times through the 1990s for helping terminally ill patients take their own lives.

He was convicted on second-degree murder charges in 1999 stemming from the death of a patient who suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was paroled in 2007.

After his release, he said he would not help end any more lives.

In an interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta last year, Kevorkian said he had no regrets about his work.

“No, no. It’s your purpose (as a) physician. How can you regret helping a suffering patient?” he said.

In that interview, Kevorkian said that he had three missions in life and that he himself was not ready to die.

One of his missions was to warn mankind of “impending doom” that will come from the culture of overabundance.

“I’m not going to be too popular for that one,” he said.

His second mission was to educate people about assisted suicide, and his belief that in states where assisted suicide has been legalized, it is not being done right. He believed that people shouldn’t have to be terminal in order to qualify for help in ending their own lives.

Kevorkian’s third stated mission was to convince Americans that their rights are being infringed upon by bans on everything from smoking to assisted suicide.

In 2008, at the age of 79, he had a failed run for Congress in Michigan.

Morganroth told the Detroit Free Press it appears Kevorkian suffered a pulmonary thrombosis when a blood clot from his leg broke free and lodged in his heart. With Kevorkian were his niece Ava Janus and Morganroth.

“It was peaceful,” Morganroth told the paper. “He didn’t feel a thing.”



THE FOLLOWING WAS WRITTEN BY CHRIS LOVE.   I would be curious to understand the circumstances surrounding this post in “Sailgroove”.  We did not get to a point where this kind of thing happens overnight. All sports have been heading towards this for quite a long time. I remember reading not long ago about an Optimist regatta (children 7-12 years old) where the complaint was that there were too many coaches on the race course.

I was desperate to learn more when I was growing up, learning to sail. I probably would have embraced the idea of having a coach following me and telling me what to do; up to a point. I am able to look back at my time on the water with the best of memories, especially in college.

I look forward to understanding more about these events. For me this is a reflection of our times. I recognize that we can not turn back the clock, to a simpler time; but we always need to consider where we are going. I  would enjoy hearing opinions from those of you who might like to express their thoughts.

It’s not the least bit uncommon for a baseball umpire to stand toe to toe with a manager, mask in hand, shoulders relaxed, stoically taking an earful of harsh words and a fateful of spit as the coach reams him out for a call he doesn’t like, only to burst to life, dramatically point to the dugout and yell “you’re out of here!” It’s generally part of the ceremony for the coach to kick some dirt, insult the man’s mother, saunter back down the steps to the boos or cheers (or both) from the crowd and hand off the clipboard to the assistant manager so the game may continue.  Not uncommon at all–in fact, it’s one of the sport’s great traditions.

But compared to the barbaric sport of flying balls and dirty mitts, sailing is a gentleman’s game.  Coaches and sailing officials would never interact in such a crude and brutish way.  A combination of complicated litigation and cocktails at the bar is enough to solve our differences.  No need to shout or make a scene by kicking someone off the water, right?

Well, in collegiate sailing this weekend, a scene was made.  Two coaches were asked to leave and/or not return on the second day, per a sailing instruction that has been on the books at MIT for some time.  It basically says that if a coach says something negative to an umpire, they may be banned from the premises for the rest of the regatta. This was the first time it has been utilized.  Without getting into the unpleasant business of who said what to whom (and I honestly don’t know as I wasn’t there myself) I think this incident opens up an interesting and potentially positive discussion for collegiate sailing.  Is this a good rule and should it be implemented more widely?  Is it necessary and is it effective in its goal to protect ICSA’s staff of volunteer umpires?

You can’t argue the fact that being a sports official is hard–no matter what you’re going to piss people off, even if you’re right all the time (which isn’t possible either given the limitations of powerboats as vantage points for the complex game of team racing.)  There should be some level of shielding for these kind souls who give their weekends away accepting this thankless job for no compensation.  But is removing a coach a necessary measure in our sport?  What must someone do to need to be removed from the premises?

Have your say, but please don’t turn this thread into a firing range on those who were involved in this particular incident.