On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Washington Post Magazine attacked conservative pro-life values on another front - by profiling the new "public face of American assisted suicide," Lawrence Egbert.
On January 22, the Washington Post Magazine's Manuel Roig-Franzia wrote a long profile of Lawrence Egbert, the former director of the Final Exit Network, who by his own admission has been present at 100 peoples' suicides, and "was responsible for signing off on all suicides" for the Final Exit Network.
At the New York Times yesterday (appearing on the front page in today's print edition), Keith Schneider's Jack Kevorkian obituary described the late assisted suicide practitioner as "fiercely principled."
An advanced search on that term (in quotes) indicates that the Old Gray Lady has only used it to describe a real human being one other time since 1981, in reference to composer Peter Maxwell Davies in January 2009. The same Times search done on 1851-1980 comes up empty. Think of all the eminently nobler and saintly people who have passed through this life during the past 160 years. Not one of them was ever described by the Times as "fiercely principled" during their lives or after their deaths. Amazing.
Additionally, the Times has had some difficulty adequately describing the nature of Kevorkian's "accomplishments." In the obit's window title and currently at the paper's home page, Kevorkian is headlined only as someone who "backed assisted suicide." The story's actual headline at the web obit and in today's print edition is still somewhat non-descriptive: "Dr. Jack Kevorkian Dies at 83; A Doctor Who Helped End Lives."
As news broke of Dr. Jack's Kevorkian death on Friday, MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing invited on defense attorney and friend Geoffrey Fieger to praise the convicted criminal known as 'Dr. Death': "Dr. Jack Kevorkian will be looked at as a hero, a true hero, and as a martyr for what they did to him for nine years. Putting him in prison..." [Audio available here]
Jansing began the interview by wondering about Kevorkian's legacy: "Was he a dying patient's savior or a cold-blooded killer?" As soon as she introduced Fieger, he immediately argued: "I doubt very many people will ever remember him as a cold-blooded killer. Obviously there's some on the fringe, but I think most of us would recognize his, not only his greatness and his kindness and his beneficence and his importance."
Apparently HBO's advertising and marketing divisions don't know if Dr. Jack Kevorkian is a killer or not. Promos for the company's new movie, "You Don't Know Jack" feature actor Al Pacino as Kevorkian, along side the question, "Is this the face of a killer?" To HBO, the answer is no, he's not a killer, if the movie's synopsis and trailer are any indication.
"Provocative, obstinate and complex, Jack ultimately risks it all in his fervor to change the prevailing laws and challenge society's attitude towards the right to die," read the film's synopsis. The movie premieres April 24.
Throughout the trailer, viewers hear Pacino demanding, "When a law is deemed unmoral by you, you must disobey it. You must disobey it." Prior to that he stated, "What we're doing here today is groundbreaking" and "If a person's allowed to die, you do it quickly, painlessly, you don't let him whither away."
Viewers also hear actress Brenda Vaccaro, who plays Kevorkian's sister, defending him to protesters, "He's leading society to an age of enlightenment, you idiots!"
Jack Kevorkian, AKA Dr. Death, has a celebrity in his fan club, "View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg.
Discussing the notorious suicide assisting doctor’s run for Congress on the March 25 edition, Goldberg said she’s a "big fan" of Kevorkian "because he believed that he could help people who were in, in a place where no one was helping them." Joy Behar wondered: "Why is he a bad guy? I don’t understand it...it’s over my head somewhere." [Audio available here.]
Elisabeth Hasselbeck expressed concern about a "gray area" and "lines blurring," if for example the one responsible for a suffering person’s care has financial motives for that person’s death. Sherri Shepherd, besides a few jokes, did not contribute much to the conversation. Transcript follows: