KEVORKIAN: Lethal Injection To Air On “60 Minutes”
Dr. Jack Kevorkian -- known for helping terminally ill patients commit suicide -- has, for the first time, admitted to directly killing a man via lethal injection. He intends to air a videotape of the act this Sunday on CBS' "Sixty Minutes" with the express purpose of being arrested and tried for homicide. CBS has not announced the identity of the man --"that could get [Kevorkian] arrested before Monday," said a spokesperson -- but the New York Post reports that it is likely that the tape shows the death of Thomas Youk of Waterford Township, MI. Police say that Youk, who died from a lethal dose of intravenous barbiturates on Sept. 17, would not have been able to inject himself (Neuman, 11/20). In a partial "60 Minutes" transcript released by CBS, Kevorkian said that if he is acquitted, Michigan prosecutors will "go (away) because they know they'll never convict me. If I am convicted, I starve to death in prison." He added, "The issue has got to be raised to the level where it is finally decided." The Detroit News reports that Kevorkian made a threat two weeks ago to commit a felony, "be imprisoned, starve himself to death and become a martyr."
Wanting No Part Of It
Assisted suicide advocates in Michigan and elsewhere "distanced themselves from Kevorkian" yesterday. Barbara Coombs Lee, executive director of Seattle-based Compassion in Dying, said, "What he's doing bears no relationship to our cause or what we stand for." She added, "The very modest, moderate practice that is going on in Oregon ... couldn't be farther away from this outrageous activity. The only good thing that can be said is that it demonstrates the depths of the desperation that people feel, that they would go and visit Dr. Kevorkian to end their lives" (Kiska/French, 11/20). The Post notes that the Kevorkian appearance will appear on "sweeps month, when networks try to boost their ratings to set ad rates." "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace, who will interview Kevorkian, insisted there was no connection: "You really believe that Dr. Kevorkian was in cahoots with me to help our ratings?" he asked (11/20).