The Goodness of Planned Death
An Interview with Dr. Jack Kevorkian
In 1990 Jack Kevorkian, M.D., was cleared of first-degree
murder, a charge that was brought after he helped an
Alzheimer's patient commit suicide. Recently he discussed with
Free Inquiry editor Paul Kurtz his option for the sick or
incapacitated for whom life has become unbearable. His book,
Prescription: Medicide—The Goodness of Planned
Death, was published in 1991 by Prometheus Books
FREE INQUIRY: Dr. Kevorkian, you've been involved in a number of battles, particularly in the last year, that have received public attention. What is your main interest? What are you trying to get across to the public?
JACK KEVORKIAN: I suppose my main interest is to reinstitute an ethical medical practice, which today is more necessary and more needed than ever, to extract from inevitable human death benefit in the form of life-prolonging maneuvers.
FI: Can you amplify what you mean by "extract benefit from death"?
JK: Death under any circumstances is negative—it's a loss of human life. Today we have death that mandated: There are prisoners and there are termina 'v ill, crippled, or incap, citated people who, for various reasons, kill themselves. To some degree these may be beneficial acts for the individuals, perhaps to their families, or to society in the cas of prisoners. But still, all the benefits put together cannot counterbalance the negativing of the loss of a human life.
FI: Is life cherished in itself?
JK: Yes. This is not a matter of divinity or sanctity, but of empirical existence.
FI: Life is good.
JK: That's beyond argument! Whether any specific individual's life is good or____________________