"You have every right in the world to have assisted suicide," he told an audience of 2,600 Thursday night at Nova Southeastern University in Davie.
"I can only get people to think," said Kevorkian, 80, paroled in June 2007 on the condition that he not assist in any more deaths. "That's all I've done."
"I've never considered myself a criminal," said Kevorkian, who was sent to jail in 1999 after lethally injecting a man who had Lou Gehrig's disease and showing the video on the television program 60 Minutes. He had taken part in up to 130 suicides and, in his interview Thursday, said he would have "done it the same way" if he had to do it over again.
Although public opinion is gradually moving towards acceptance, according to the article in the Miami Herald, there continues to be criticism of Kevorkian's methods even among proponents of doctor-assisted suicide. He was personally present at each of the 130 assisted suicides he conducted, administering the medications himself. States where it has been implemented do not allow this.
"He was killing people," said Peg Sandeen, director of Death With Dignity, which advocates nationally for assisted-suicide legalization. "He illustrated some of the significant problems that can happen when this is not regulated."
What's your opinion? Is assisted suicide of terminally ill patients contrary to the mission of a medical practitioner? Does prohibiting people from doing this violate their rights?
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