Third Parties

Death Watch

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Jack Kevorkian's independent congressional campaign is getting about 3 percent of the vote in Michigan's ninth district. I'm not a Kevorkian fan (cf. Michael Betzold and Thomas Szasz), but if you want a particularly forceful way to vote None of the Above

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  1. I wish he had run for President.

  2. Ironic,

    No you don’t.

  3. Mr. Kervorkian, meet Mrs. Clinton.

  4. I always appreciate Szasz links and references.

    Comment generating hint: They are best on slow news days.

  5. Jack Kervorkian shouldn’t be in the running for the House, he should be in the running for sainthood.

  6. It’s been a while since I read Szasz’s critique, but I remember agreeing with it, to a first approximation at least. However: I’ll take Kevorkian over the people who imprisoned him any day. I live in Michigan’s 9th district, and I enthusiastically voted for Kevorkian.

    (By the way, Kevorkian only has one “r”.)

  7. Wow, the last place I thought I’d see a critique of Kevorkian was on a libertarian Web site. A man helps suffering people who have made the voluntary choice to end their lives, and the attack against him is based mainly on his failure to comply with the regulatory apparatus of the state vis-a-vis licensure and controlled substances. Wow.

    Kevorkian’s civil disobedience makes him a hero in my book. All he did was help suffering people make the voluntary choice to die peacefully with drugs (rather than, say, with a gunshot to the head, which is how my terminally ill dad did it). Vesting doctors with the power to prescribe drugs for voluntary suicide, even with the risks that entails, is far preferable to the state’s simple prohibition of assisted suicide under any circumstances.

  8. the last place I thought I’d see a critique of Kevorkian was on a libertarian Web site.

    Read the Betzold article. Kevorkian did not limit his support to voluntary death.

  9. The Betzold article doesn’t appear to be available online — you linked to an excerpt of it and a commentary about it. If Betzold mentions Kevorkian’s support for involuntary euthanasia in his article, we wouldn’t know it from your link.

    The Szasz article, which does mention Kevorkian’s support for involuntary euthanasia, is overall well-argued and persuasive. And at this point I should apologize to Mr. Walker for misconstruing his critique. I hadn’t been aware of Kevorkian’s support for involuntary euthanasia, and it certainly makes sense for a libertarian to not be a fan of Kevorkian based on that. (By the way, along the same lines, I repeatedly criticized the Final Exit Network on a right-to-die listserv I belong to because of the group’s public support for the husband in the Terri Schiavo case. I argued that, because no one knew Terri Schiavo’s wishes for certain, FEN shouldn’t take sides in that case.)

    All that said, I still maintain that Kevorkian did much more good than bad in terms of advancing the cause of personal liberty. All of the people he actually helped to die came to him voluntarily.

  10. I couldn’t find the Betzold article online, so I linked to a citation. It’s worth tracking down: It’s the article that changed my mind about Kevorkian when it came out a decade ago.

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