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April 16th, 2010
08:58 PM ET

Dr. Kevorkian Responds to Question about Playing God

HBO premieres a new movie next week called "You Don't Know Jack."

It's about Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the retired pathologist dubbed "Dr. Death" for his claim to have participated in more than 100 assisted suicides.

It's been almost 3 years since his release from prison, and this week he sat down for an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

When Anderson asked him about playing God, here's what he said.

Question: What do you think about his comment to Anderson and will you watch the movie?

Please leave your comments here. We'll read some of them on air this weekend.


Filed under: Fredricka Whitfield
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Gregory D MELLOTT

    Using morphine to kill any pain is debilitaing in itself. That is why is it used as little as possible. When there is know notable way to extend a viable relationship with life, then killing pain become a higher priority. There should always be hope if reality is given the allowance. If I might relate this to Jesus on the cross, he tried to life for as long as possible to allow those/that oppressing more opportunity to turn from that way. There is not doubt that this world can be cruel. Yet everyway that can be found to express how to function is a better way for posterities health should be endeavored. Doctors can learn from their efforts to heal and that has to happen to someone. Once something is found to help, even that need refining.
    The usual weakness of framing public health care with government control is that it can squeeze endavors to research for cures. Though getting a better economy is undoubtedly the key need as then more 'abundance' can allow more charitable endeavors. 'We will always have the poor with us.' (And I'm counted as one by many. For posterities sake the system that generate our 'abundance' has to come first. ) I would lean also to getting better patent laws that allow efforts that effect only a few, like childrens diseases, to find ecenomic viability. Perhaps extend a patent as long as it is not generating a profit.; but rather only endeavoring to maintaining the costs incurred in its develpoement and use.

    April 16, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  2. Ann Wright

    I watched the interview, and yes I will go to see the movie. It sounds like a thriller. I don't especially agree to everything he did. It depends on how sick the patient was, to participate in something like that. His name sounds a little scary.

    April 16, 2010 at 11:01 pm |
  3. Jack Heltzel

    I am a nurse aid, and have seen people suffering...I have always kept them hanging on, until they have been taken by death. Kevorkian and suicidal patients have one thing in common....they need counseling. Dr. K should have been placed in a maximum security mental institution.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:07 am |
  4. Jennifer

    I thought the comment he made to Anderson made alot of sense, it really made me think, I never thought about doctors that way but this does make alot of sense. It made me think of when I was 21 and had Spinal Meningitis, i almost died but the doctors saved, maybe God's will was to have me die at that age, so in a sense the doctors played God by saving me.

    I will watch the movie, Right to Die was a huge topic in the late 90s. I'm glad to see it being discussed and debated again.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:59 am |
  5. michael armstrong sr.

    The doctors are playing God by prolonging death .

    April 17, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  6. Ethan

    I completely agree with Dr. Kevorkian. If there actually was a spiritual being that the Judeo-Christian bible describes, doctors would be interfering with this god's plan. People always thank GOD when a DOCTOR saves their life. Well do they ever think why did this god made them sick in the first place? Dr. Kevkorkian is one of the few sane people in America that have come to the realization that the myths of primitive men can not be taken seriously.

    ...and I might go watch the movie.

    April 17, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  7. Lee Krempel

    There's no agreeing or disagreeing with what Dr. K says regarding "playing God." It's simply true. He's right. It's really not debatable.

    April 17, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  8. Laura S

    Its funny how if an animal is suffering, people say its humane to put them down to end the suffering. If its a termilly ill person who wishes to end things, its called murder. Anyone who argues Dr. Kavorkian is playing God must also agree Doctors "play God" everyday by interfering in thenatural progression of a disease.

    April 17, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  9. Anneliese

    Very Interesting and seemingly very true.

    April 17, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  10. Ralf

    He's totally correct in my opinion. The argument cuts both ways. If someone wants to end their suffering, others should not judge that decision and blame someone who is helping in this process. Jack Kevorkian never went up to anyone and said "Here, let me kill you". So if someone wants to seek medical help to fix what ails them let them also have the freedom to end it in case it is terminal. And yes, I'll be watching the movie.

    April 17, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  11. Sean

    How can we claim to live in a free country when the decision to ease our own pain is not left to us to decide? Dr. Kevorkian should have been hailed as a hero rather than incarcerated.

    April 17, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  12. Steven

    I believe whole heartedly on what the doctor said in his interview. It is about time someone brings it to light about the interference with "Gods" will. He did a wonderful thing and should be allowed to continue with his work on saving people form suffering. This Country is full of hypocrites, because when they become in so much pain and are terminal...I guarantee their view on the subject will change. Just lets see if the ones who are throwing rocks start to live in the glass house! Thank you.

    April 17, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  13. Heidi Nagy

    If I were to be seriously ill with no hope and in a great deal of pain. Definately, I would like to have someone like Dr. Kevorkian to help me pass. He should of never been sent to jail, as his patients requested this. They already do this in the hospitals by adminstrating a large dose of morphine, which ultimately stops your heart. Dr. Koverkian, is an advocate for peoples right to choose. He has taken a hard beating because he cared.

    April 17, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  14. Richard

    Dr Kevorkian is correct, and we put parents in jail who do not allow Doctors to 'play' God with their children. In the Pacific Northwest was have legal assisted suicide on the books, and it's rarely used, but it's an option that a terminally ill patient has.

    April 17, 2010 at 11:59 am |
  15. Paulo

    I thank "God" for people Kevorkian, who are truly compassionate and not driven by religious taboos which certainly does not have the dying patient's comfort in mind. I think of the millions of souls whose pain was prolonged by doctors who kept them alive, suffering longer, and making death more horrific than necessary. Those doctors were truly playing God, and an evil one, too!

    April 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  16. Tak-Seng

    I agree with Kevorkian, Doctors do play god but so do the lawmakers who restrict a person's freedom; from being able to decide their own fate. In a land the prides itself on individual freedom I find such laws and restrictions very hypocritical. It's your body, your life, your choice. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating murder or suicide but if anyone's quality of life, as they determine it, is so low that they welcome and choose death, then I believe they have this right. None of us want to see our loved one's go but there are many times when we exert our will onto another and this results in increased suffering. Which begs the question, who is the law really for? For the one's suffering?

    April 17, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  17. Nate

    If we think it is ethical to do this for our pets whom we love very much, perhaps we should apply the same logic (in a specific and limited number of cases) today to humans with terminal suffering (not to be confused with depression induced suicide) of which we don't yet have the technology to treat. I believe in some cases it is the ethical thing to do.

    But this is just the beginning, this will become a bigger question for us to consider in the future. If in the next 20 to 50 years we advance regenerative medicine to the point at which life can be prolonged indefinitely, euthanasia could potentially become a personal and economic choice if not essential.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  18. Bill Roberts

    I totally agree with Dr. Kevorkian. A rational person seeks to extend life when life is good, and that same rational person accepts when life is not suitable for living. I'd be interested in the movie as I am interested in what personal traits help the Dr. enact his convictions.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  19. John Leone

    Dr. Kevorkian will one day be noted as a historical medical revolutionist for patient's "rights to live as well as rights to die". While there is a dynamic series of decisions that need to be made by our legal system for patient's rights and a process to aproach a person's rights at determining when their life is considered completed, this option will one day be made available to all of us.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  20. Colleen Meegan RN MSEd MSN

    Yes, I agree with this quote. Interestingly, when patients have very little hope of a meaningful life, in a persistent vegetative state, or otherwise severely brain damaged, we indeed are playing God by putting in a tracheostomy into their tracheas and placing them on ventilators to keep them artificially breathing and placing a feeding tube into their stomachs and pouring feeding into them to keep them hydrated and with adequate nutrition ad nauseum. But who is making this decision? The doctors and nurses? Not usually. It's well-meaning but ill-informed guilt-ridden family members who can't give up. Whom do you suppose pays for the care of this shell of a body? I know I don't need to tell you!

    April 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  21. Antonio Maggiore

    Fred: I will definitely watch the HBO film and I agree with Dr. Kevorkian's comments. Furthermore, every day, doctors practice youthanasia; we just don't call it youthanasia. Everytime a dying patient is administered morphine to supress pain, they are assisting not only in helping ease pain but morphine works as a relaxant that leads to the lung function ceasing and resulting in the patient's death. My father passed away when his breathing ceased due to the effect of the morphine and not directly because of his colon cancer. I agree with Dr. Kevorkian and support him 100 percent.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  22. Jack in Ohio

    The only corporations and groups that are against Kevorkian are hospitals, hospices and the AMA because they are the ones that financially benefit from others' terminal illnesses.

    If I had a terminal illness would I want to suffer, let alone have my family suffer daily, watching me waste away while the hospital, hospices and Drs. fill their coffers as my estate dwindles? Hell no!

    April 17, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  23. Leslie

    Fredricka,
    I think Dr. Kevorkian is right in his logic process. I have a brother who suffered from cancer and the procedure to save his life was flawed resulting in the loss of his voice, his sight, and all of his body movements. He is fed through a tube in his stomach and is confined to a bed in a convalescent facility. I don't know what my brother thinks because other than facial expressions and some sounds, he can only communicate by responding to yes/no questions but if I was my brother, I would want some form of doctor assisted suicide or euthanasia so that I wouldn't have to lay in a bed most of my life in darkness, confinement and without a voice. I bet if every American (God forbid), had a loved one who suffered such a dismal quality of life like my brother does, they would be a lot more accepting to the ideas of Dr. Kevorkian and people with similar logic processes.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  24. Dr. Susan Mendelsohn

    Kevorkian is spot on and has been far beyond his time. He is truly assisting people who have CHOSEN to help themselves end suffering; and to help their loved ones. This is a far cry from our current administration who is making the choice FOR US by limiting our healthcare when we find ourselves ill – by withholding our personal choices to obtaining care when we WANT IT and know that we have vitality and a chance to live a quality life.
    I have always admired Kevorkian – there should be more physicians like him!

    April 17, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  25. Ricardo Braganca

    I remember once a Doctor in Mumbai India telling a friend of mine "In a surgery we (Surgeons) can only cut into flesh and skin and sew it back after we are done BUT we cant make the flesh and skin to bond back together, for that we rely on GOD" Think about it guys

    April 17, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  26. Don Propp

    Some people want to be able to dictate how we live, and how we die, regardless of our own wishes and beliefs. How dare they condemn my father, or yours, to unspeakable pain and indignity when it is their wish to end their suffering on their own terms.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  27. E. "Corky" Short

    It is my opinion if a human being has a terminal condition they should have the legal right to a humane termination of life provided by a Physician.

    I have personally witnessed too many friends & family members suffer terribly as they had no legal means availabe to them to end their pain and suffering. The suffering was also there for those watching it all happen!

    There are laws in place for physicians to end the pain and suffering for animals...why don't the same laws appy to humans? ...
    E. "Corky" Short, Harrisburg PA.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  28. J. Starink

    When our beloved dogs or cats become too ill to go on, to end their suffering, we graciously and unselfishly, put them to sleep and we call that action... "humane." I am not quite sure why we would not pass that on to our own race.

    Of course there should be rules, one should be of sound mind to make such a decision. It must be a personal choice, not one that is made by any person, for another. There must be no hope.

    Should I ever be in the situation, where all I have to look forward to is pain, that is too much to bear, and there is no chance for me to recover, then please let me have the same option, and let us call that action humane.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  29. joann johnson

    i can't wait to see dr. kevorkian's movie. for those of us who have experienced real physical suffering at its worst and who know the unfortunate limitations on doctors and hospitals, dr. kevorkian is a blessing. we are so kind to our animals and gently put them to sleep when they are in pain, but human beings are left to be tortured alive until their hearts give out. Death in itself is awful – sirens, tubes, needles, pain, blood, people running around, hysterical family members, shouldn't we be sources of comfort so a person can die in peace?

    April 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  30. Rev.Patrick Earl

    Dr. Kevorkian has no clue as to what he's talking about. He is obliquely claiming that God either makes people sick, or at best, let's them get sick...and doesn't care if they get better. Baloney!! I will not get into a theological discussion here about God's will here, however, let it be known that God did give doctors the skill and knowledge to get people healthy. The good doctor violates the hippocratic oath, which in short says: ...first do no harm....The apostle Paul had a doctor (Luke) traveling with him. I'm glad I'm not Dr. Kevorkian. he's going to have a really bad day when he faces god on judgement Day.

    I may watch the movie one day. Time will tell.

    Be Outrageously blessed!

    April 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  31. Catherine

    My mother is dying from Alzheimer's as did her brother and two cousins before her so she knew what would happen if she succumbed to the family disease. My uncle lasted 15 years from this disease. At the end, he was a mere curled up ball of a human who could not talk, eat, swallow, or perform normal bodily functions. He was agitatated and was in constant fear and emotional and psychological trauma if not heavily medicated. My mother has already lost her ability to comprehend and has lost her bodily control over toileting. She is starting to lose her ability to swallow and can only eat pureed food. She became severaly agitated and a constant danger to herself since she would try to leave the house and perform functions that she lacked the comprehension to control (like flushing the toilet – she flooded the house causing $17,000 worth of damage and a minor fire from shortcircuited wires when she stuffed an entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet). My mother has already forgotten my dad who she was married to for 43 years. She often does not know who I am and cannot remember who her grandchildren are. She now cannot walk or even stand up – she needs medical lifts to transport her anywhere, even into a bath – getting her into an ambulance to go to the hospital is a logistical ordeal at this point. In the next stage, my mom will have to be fed via an I/V and will be permanently bed-ridden. This, to a woman who was a WWII survivor (saving family members in a bombing) and who sang before the Vatican and the American ambassador to Ireland. She made me swear that I would never let her die like her brother. Yet what alternative do I have? I cannot legally end her suffering when she reaches the final stages. My mother will not be allowed to die with the dignity she deserves. The best I can do is pray that God will take her while she still has some awareness that she is loved and lived a valuable life. The alternative is she will die, a mere clump of cells, unaware that she ever existed at all. So who is really playing God here? Isn't it the legislators who will not allow individuals to succumb to God's will and go to Him? Anyone who opposes Dr. Kervorkian is someone who has never had a loved one go through hell before they die.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  32. bridget burke

    unfortunately Dr.Kevorkian choose politics over Morales in the state of Michigan to make his decisions on Dr assisted suicides Dr assisted suicides r not a bad thing and again Dr Kevorkian choose politics over ethics

    April 17, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  33. Nancy Owens

    Fredrica, I believe that euthanasia as a last resort could reasonably be performed by a MEDICAL TEAM with the proper court decision on the part of patient and family. But not a sole physician. And it is far too controversial to be a common practice. But look at Farah Fawcett, we all saw her suffer so much that one wonders if that is even humane, to let someone suffer like that. This certainly will be an issue of contraversy for a long time to come.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  34. Gail Green

    In a free country we should be free to choose whether we wish to live or die without the contols of religion being imposed on the citizens. Dr. Kevorkian is a hero to me. Thank you.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  35. Jean

    I totally agree with Dr. Kevorkian. I think that it is very sad that we don't allow our pets to experience unnecessary pain and suffering but we won't allow that option to human beings with irreversible medical conditions. I can only pray that laws are changed before I or my loved ones face a terrifying and painful end of life experience. Thank you to Dr. Kevorkian for forcing this discussion.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
  36. Kirsten Verdi

    Dear Ms. Whitfield,
    You asked to let you know who is intersted in watching the movie about Dr. Karvorkian's story on HBO. I very much wished I could could watch it. I don't subscibe to HBO. I hope the film will be shown on other channels in the future and therefore accessible to a larger population . In my opinion Al Pacino is the best actor possible for the role, I am a huge Pacino fan. I regret not to be able to see the movie.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  37. Michael Green

    I talked with many of Dr. Kevorkian's patients just after he was arrested. Each spoke of Dr. Kevorkian with highest praise whether they agreed or disagreed with his decision in assisted sicide. I was struck by their passionate description of a kind and caring physcian who cared deeply for them. I don't believe he should have been imprisoned.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  38. Michael Green

    After watching a PBS documentary on assisted sucide in Holland I changed my mind about it. The film maker followed a man with Lou Gerhig's disease which can lead to a horrible death. He chose to die peacefully at home with his family by his side. He simply went to sleep. What I was so firmly against I now fully support.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  39. William Chornooky

    The issue of when you can request to end your life is to me one of the most important decisions that you might ever have to make. No one has the right to second guess you on your decision. My personal philosophy of life is to try to live it in such a manner that you can look forward to tomorrow. If the only thing you have to look forward to is pain or the humilation of having others attending to your sanitary or mobility requirements without any mitigating compensatory joys, then it is time to turn off the switch of life. I am unencunbered by any religious beliefs that might constrain others. This is my right as a intelligent human being to have the right of when to call it a day and perhaps relieve my family of the ordeal and expense of a prolonged bad death.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  40. Angela Sargent

    Dr. Kevorkian ia absolutely correct. He helps people who are unable to help themselves. God bless him for his courage and selflessness.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  41. Proteus

    Dr. Kevorkian should have come to work in Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal (in some cases).

    Proteus

    April 17, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  42. Susan

    I do agree with Dr. Kervorkian that doctors do play God, but at the same time God gave the doctors the intelligence to treat disease and prolong our lives. I also believe that we make a choice when our animals are ill and need to be put to sleep, why can't we choose that for ourselves. If I was terminal, going through pain constantly and my quality of life was reduced to a hospital room I would hope that I could call Dr. Kevorkian so he could help me quit the suffering.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  43. Brenda Butler

    I believe that Dr. Kevorkian is a true hero! He has ended the unnecessary suffering of many and his life and mission should be celebrated! We treat animals far more 'humanly' than we treat humans. If I should ever be diagnosed with a terminal illness I'm going to the Netherlands first class and coming back cargo!

    April 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
  44. Korat Abesha

    For once Dr. Kevorkian said something that make sense. My 4 yrs old understand this concept. We go to a Dr. to live longer, it's that simple. So, in a way... we are letting Dr's to play God.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
  45. nicki c.

    what jack did , was not new been a nurse for almost 40 yrs. not usual but have witnessed drs. giving families prescriptions for morphine with a scheduled dossage to be given until death.. i hope to god nobody lets me suffer as i have seen some in my own family. i expect this note might get me a reprimand form the state of michigan , but i cant work any more because of back injury . GOD BLESS JACK FOR HIS COMPASSION.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  46. Ava

    We live in Oregon where we can get help to end our lives with dignity, when suffering becomes overwhelming. My husband of fifty years, and I are relieved that our children and grandchildren will not have to watch us suffer for months, as we watched our own parents. We want them to remember us being able to make our own decisions to the end, and recognizing our loved ones. There are many safeguards built in to the Right to Die law; no one is "offing" grandma.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  47. Dennis Ivy

    It seems to me that it is a question of who owns you body – you or the state.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  48. richard

    When AC asked him if he he believed in God he would not answer and yet kept talking about playing God.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  49. Lisa

    I’m a single person, with no children, and far from rich. The prospect of some day finding myself sick, senile and unable to take care of myself really scares me. I would very likely prefer physician-assisted suicide to a slow and miserable death alone in some squalid nursing home.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  50. Becky Lindberg

    Doctors do not play God, they use the talents and knowledge He has given them to bless us with health, healing and pain control. The patient has the choice whether to be treated or not. The patient and their families are the ones who "play God" with their decisions, not the physician.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  51. María C Pérez

    I would like to treat my exit of this world with the dignity with which I have lived my life. I want to have the opportunity to embrace death if my life becomes unbearable.

    Why do we want to impose Christianities views of God and death to everyone in a society that is as pluralistic as ours? I have chosen Christianity as my path to God, and still want to have the freedom to make my own decisions about my death.

    Thank you, Doctor Kevorkian for your sacrificial courage.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  52. Bigad

    I don't think it's interfering with God's will, as Dr. K said, but it is certainly interfering with nature. We can't know about God or its will, so one can argue that God's will was to have created doctors in order to prolong a patient's life. But we are interfering with nature, though only to a certain extent. When a baby animal is wounded, the mother will most likely lick its wounds and nurse it back to health – we are more complex: we have medecine and sci-fi-esque hospital equipment now. Using this is not wrong, however, prolonging someone's life past the point when they can be a functioning member of society IS a problem.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  53. Debi

    I watched the love of my life go from a 6'2', 250#, muscle bound marine, to a shrivelled up skeleton with skin hanging, 100# lighter and in a world of his own. His brain was litterally shrinking.
    During this 3 year death sentence, his blood pressure was spiking and I prayed that God would take him that way to avoid the unavoidable .
    I will be 2 years since his death and I am still not over it. I agree completely with Dr. Kervorkian.....

    April 17, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
  54. eric

    Doctors are not playing God. The phrase "playing God" is so vague it can be used to argue against all human ingenuity.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  55. Mary Ann O'Connor

    I truly take offense at the continual use of "Dr. Death". Dr. Kavorkian is unique. It has become rare to experience a principled, centered, intelligent, logical, forthright, courageous and honest human being. The media has long enough applied this emotionally laden , subjective, unprofessional and negativel label to him. Shamefully, this is not journalism.
    Both Copernicus and Galileo were demonized in their time. I had hoped we were beyond this in the modern world. Rather than watching CNN today, I have switched to movies. Stop the insanity and be objective and professional. The issue of when or should any of us be diagnosed with terminal illnesses and we reach the time of suffering and dying, what and how we can choose or cannot choose to die, is a serious dilemma and deserves serious and open dialogue. Long live Dr. Kavorkian, a gift to all of humanity.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  56. Suzy Chiodo

    Perhaps the question is not whether or not one is playing God, perhaps it is more importantly a matter of free will – and whether or not your will is in harmony with God"s will

    April 17, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  57. Heidi Brooks

    People who haven't yet personally experienced their own or a loved one's unending suffering from a chronic, debilitating condition or who face an imminent painful & degrading prolonged death don't know what a truly caring and compassionate man Dr. Kevorkian really is. I thank him for his good fight to bring dignity and relief to those who are suffering so much, and I am looking forward to watching the movie.

    April 17, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  58. Carl Kramer

    Doctors don't play God, however God uses doctors, not to alow people live longer, but to improve the qualitie of life.

    April 17, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  59. Carl Kramer

    living longer is just is just a benifit of thier work

    April 17, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  60. yves caron

    Strange society we live in, we put Dr. Jack Kevorkian in jail and give R.Limbaught 40 Millions per year to say stupidities.

    April 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  61. Lois

    It's the wrong question. It should be, What does God say;. He commanded that we should not murder; He didn't command that we should not save and preserve life. In fact He said, "I put before you today life and death, a blessing and a curse; therefore choose life."

    April 17, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  62. Gene Lucas

    The ones who are playing God are the political entities who tell me that I can't end my life when I choose. When I decide it's time for me to go, I'll go. If not here, then Mexico where drugs are available without prescription.

    April 17, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  63. maze1gerald

    Dr kervorkian is the apitimy of a mad scientist, all that he is missing is a pair of thick glasses.and white lab coat.

    April 18, 2010 at 12:12 am |
  64. maggie

    Dr Kevorion's god is not my God. No haman has the right to judge another.

    April 18, 2010 at 1:35 am |
  65. Deborah Gauthier

    If a person is terminally ill or in life long chronic pain – can't we honour that person's wishes??

    To me playing God means aborting children or performing abortions, the day after pill. Murdering someone, suicide bombings, etc etc.

    Murders are committed every minute of every hour – so are abortions – these people think they are God when they make that choice.

    I hope you ask these questions Anderson! Really like your show!

    April 18, 2010 at 2:30 am |
  66. Talmage Shipman

    Dr. Kevorkian is absoulutely right in his assertion that doctors play God. It is a consequence of Gods gift of Free Will to mankind. We not only play God with human life but with all life on the planet. We humans reshape our world and kill off what is in the way all throughout history.

    But why do we lock up Dr. Kevorkian for assisted suicide when doctors are the leading cause of death in this country? Sadly I have come to the conclusion that it is about the money. It costs thousands of dollars a day to keep terminally ill patients alive. Some guy who actually takes the Hypocratic Oath seriously and helps patients die on their own terms is costing doctors and hospitals millions of dollars and setting a precedent of actually caring about the patient at the endtime of their lives. Unacceptable! and costly, such radical thinking must be stamped out.

    Regards,

    Talmage

    Here is a radical thought; next time humans want to have a war we have to ask the 6 legged majority for permission.

    April 18, 2010 at 7:18 am |
  67. Theron

    I disagree with Dr. Death. Because if it wasnt meant to be, we wouldnt have medicines to strengthen people's health. Those things simply wouldnt exist. We wouldnt have vegetables,fruits, vitamins, minerals and most plants ,all of those things have health benefits, and they were all created by God. They exist because God wants us to heal ourselves if we are sick.

    The heavenly father gives us one life to live, so we must protect that life and cherish it. He also gave us the things that I mentioned above so that we can heal ourselves. In the good book there were stories where Jesus healed people, was he playing God? No where in the bible did it say that God objected to Jesus healing sick people. It isn't a sin to prolong a life, but it is a sin to take a life. Only God has the right to kill, thats why thou shalt not kill is one of the ten commandments. Dr. Death is the one playing God in my opinion.

    April 18, 2010 at 9:26 am |
  68. Gregory D MELLOTT

    God's nature is for life, especially eternal. What likely drives people to the contrary is the cues they get from this crippled world's ways. Admittedly, there is the pride factor as it relates to the potential of one's body to function. Yet that may be most strongly derived from the pressures they percieve they puts on others, financially and otherwise. The money systems says they are less than worthless, and even a burden. That and other cultural pespectives are notably shortsighted; and so should be questioned from the much more thorougher view that God might allow.

    As for betters means to drive our economy, there is noted as being 50,000 times more energy in the first 6 miles of the surface of the earth than all the reserves of oil and gas now available. (And heat is noted as having the tendency to rise.) For those worrying about the method of adding surface area to material by cracking it under pressure; they might note that in the places most likely to generate the most energy the earth is already fractured. This is what allows the heats to be carried so close to the surface already. The very deep wells required otherwise, are much less likely to effect surface water and the likes. Yes, we need to be careful. Yet the odds are in favor of finding ideal locations to work with. Cool it & school it... All that hyper-activity needs to be harnessed well.

    April 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  69. James

    God also didn't object to child sacrifice on the odd occasion, so forgive me if he's no longer used as any type of moral compass.

    April 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  70. Heidi Brooks

    I found it interesting in Anderson's interview that Dr. Kevorkian said he didn't actually inject his patients with the medications; he said that he set up the equipment (a machine he devised) that allowed the patient to administer it themselves. Not sure how this would be done on someone who was completely paralyzed or unable to accomplish this, but it certainly puts ALL of the ultimate decision in the hands of the individual and the individual's family. I also understand that this is a process, not a single-instance decision to end one's life.

    I don't believe that God or Religion of any kind should play into this decision, except as it applies to the requesting individual's personal beliefs.

    I have read all of the comments prior to mine, and find everyone's views interesting, even if I can't understand some of them. It's a good discussion to have, and I hope all people will be open-minded to other people's views, especially those who have experienced the need for physician-supervised passing.

    April 19, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
  71. Lucy

    I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Kevorkian. I have had relatives who needed a good doctor like this man but had awful ones who allowed they to suffer so long.

    My grandmother, ninety-five years old, only wanted to dead in peace in the bed she shared with her husband who died year before. It, her death, was not peaceful. She laid there for months, unable to talk or eat, after being sustained intravenously for sometime, her blood vessels collapsed so they could do nothing. She starved to death. My grandmother starved to death. My beautiful, wonderful, sweet grandmother... they let her starve to death. And when the end came they tried to resuscitate her, taking her out of her bed, placing her frail body on the floor, and tried to bring her back... This is horrifyingly merciless. Our society just does not know how to let go and allow the dying dignity.

    Yes, we need more intelligent doctors like Dr. Kevorkian.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
  72. Gregory D MELLOTT

    Too be honest, I do no even like the cat's play with mice. Yet, I also note one attribute that the rabbit is given. That being the tendency to go into a coma like state when the hunt ends by wild cat or the likes. Our minds and body can do some rather extraodinary things at times. Things that are probably biologically acquired as they enhance survival through bad situations. I notice with age, that me body treats pain differently. My mother broke one of her leg bones a few years back and was telling me she had not pain from it, even to, and at, the hospital. Befuddled me. She was about 75 then.
    I have to admit the attempt at resuscitation for your grandmother does seem a bit extreme. Yet with all the nonsensical things that come to mind as wealth and law suites come to mind, it may not be surprising that such things flow out of some impulse (wether there is really money involved or not) however superfluecely executed the deep matter of the heart driving it, in some way, in that direction is. God help us all, ever.

    April 20, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  73. Elle

    My eighty-four year old dying uncle shot himself in the chest. Leaving loved ones that understood why he did this. We only wished his doctor has assisted him. He suffered from cancer and only had a few weeks more before he would have to be bed ridden... it was that bad. My uncle had taken care of my dying Aunt, his wife, just a few years before and proclaimed he did not want to go the same way – helpless to do anything for himself after living so independently all his life. How nice it would have been if he did not have to resort to shooting himself; rather, had a peaceful exit with the assistance of a good doctor such as Dr. Kevorkian.

    People talk of God. GOD is within each of us. God is mercy and love. If we are cannot to show mercy to the dying where is the love.

    April 21, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
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