Assisted suicide advocate Kevorkian dies at age 83

DETROIT, June 3 (AP): Jack Kevorkian, the retired pathologist who captured the world's attention as he helped dozens of ailing people commit suicide, igniting intense debate and ending up in prison for murder, has died in a Detroit area hospital after a short illness. He was 83. Kevorkian, who said he helped some 130 people end their lives from 1990 to 1999, died about 2:30 a.m. at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, close friend and prominent attorney Mayer Morganroth said. He had been hospitalized since last month with pneumonia and kidney problems, Morganroth said.
An official cause of death had not been determined, but Morganroth said it likely will be pulmonary thrombosis. "I had seen him earlier and he was conscious," said Morganroth, who added that the two spoke about Kevorkian's pending release from the hospital and planned start of rehabilitation. "Then I left and he took a turn for the worst and I went back." Nurses at the hospital played recordings of classical music by composer Johann Sebastian Bach for Kevorkian before he died, Morganroth said. Kevorkian was freed in June 2007 after serving eight years of a 10- to 25-year sentence for second-degree murder. His lawyers had said he suffered from hepatitis C, diabetes and other problems, and he had promised in affidavits that he would not assist in a suicide if he was released.
In 2008, he ran for Congress as an independent, receiving just 2.7 percent of the vote in the suburban Detroit district. He said his experience showed the party system was "corrupt" and "has to be completely overhauled from the bottom up." His life story became the subject of the 2010 HBO movie, "You Don't Know Jack," which earned actor Al Pacino Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for his portrayal of Kevorkian.  Pacino paid tribute to Kevorkian during his Emmy acceptance speech and recognized the world-famous former doctor, who sat smiling in the audience.


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