Monday, June 20, 2011

Reflections on Jack Kevorkian's Death

Dr. Jeffrey P. Bishop, who holds the Tenet Endowed Chair in Health Care Ethics at St. Louis University, and who regularly participates in the Center's medical ethics conference, reflects on medicine technology, and the end of life following Jack Kevorkian's recent death. An excerpt:

"I remember watching on "60 Minutes" the death of Thomas Youk, the one death at which Kevorkian was present. Just two years earlier, I had finished my residency training in internal medicine. Watching Youk's death, I thought about all of the machines that kept people alive: the ventilators I had tweaked, the infusion pumps I had titrated. Seeing Kevorkian work on Youk, I was struck by the cold, procedural efficiency that Kevorkian and I shared. Yet, there was a stark contrast. On the one hand, technology was used to cause death; on the other, technology was used to cause life to continue, often in people who would die only a few days later."

Read his full column, Love is Stronger than Death, here.

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