Bulldog Bugle

The student news site of Animo Jefferson Charter Middle School

Bulldog Bugle

Bulldog Bugle

Assisted suicide

Jack Kevorkian with his death machine.

Assisted suicide is a practice that allows terminally ill patients to end their lives with medical assistance. This is a controversial topic. In this article, we look into the implications of assisted suicide laws and the legacy of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a doctor who became well known within the right-to-die movement.

Assisted suicide occurs when a person with a terminal illness like a lung disease obtains a prescription for life-ending medication from a doctor, to be self-administered, typically to avoid extended suffering. 

The Death with Dignity Act, which took effect in Oregon in 1997, allows eligible terminally ill patients to obtain prescriptions for lethal doses of medication. Strict guidelines, like being a mentally stable adult, state resident and having six or less months to live, are in place to ensure informed consent and that the agreement is monitored by health authorities. Although this act is from Oregon, other states also have made assisted suicide legal, like California, Washington, and Vermont.


Examples of of assisted suicides include: 

The Death with Dignity act was used by Charles and Francie, a couple in Oregon, that were found dead on their bed on April 17, 2017 after taking a lethal dose of a prescribed medication. The couple had decided to kill themselves because Francie had a weak heart and Charles had prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

Most recently this year a woman in Connecticut, Lynda Bluestein, a 76-year-old woman, peacefully passed away with the help of the Vermont medical aid-in-dying law. Lynda Bluestein used this act because she was fighting stage four ovarian and fallopian tube cancer and had been in pain for two years.


Dr. Death and how he did his assisted suicides:

Most terminally ill people who didn’t live in states that have assisted suicide legal would’ve used the help of a pathologist in Michigan, Jack Kevorkian, most known as Dr. Death. 

Kevorkian was known for his role in assisting more than 100 terminally ill people’s suicides in the 90’s. He used his machine that he invented himself, which he called the thanatron, meaning “Death Machine” in Greek. 

Jack Kevorkian was sent to prison for eight years for committing second degree murder but was released after four years on parol. Kevorkian had many haters and supporters during his time assisting people. 

When he was released he made a speech saying he wouldn’t assist people anymore in suicide and that people should fight for this natural right. He passed away at the age of 83 on June 3rd, 2011 while hospitalized because of pneumonia and kidney problems.   

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Yaneth Sanchez, staff writer
Arleth Aguilar, staff writer

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