Sunday, April 11, 2010

Morbid experimentation

Anthony Sacramone asks "What’s the difference between Jack Kevorkian and Josef Mengele?" and answers "One of them’s dead."  Sacramone links to Wesley J. Smith's reminder of certain facts about Kervorkian. That post  is occasioned by the upcoming HBO film about Jack Kevorkian, You Don’t Know Jack, starring Al Pacino in the title role, which Smith anticipates will neglect  "key aspects of Kervorkian's 'career.'" Three of them:
1. Before assisting the suicides of disabled, terminally ill, and the non sick despairing, Kevorkian went to most prisons where executions are conducted asking to experiment on condemned prisoners.

5. Kevorkian did not care much about alleviating the suffering of patients, (he once said he couldn’t remember their names) but rather called it “a first step, an early distasteful professional obligation” toward obtaining a license to engage in human experimentation, writing further:
What I find most satisfying is the prospect of making possible the performance of invaluable experiments or other beneficial acts under conditions that this first unpleasant step can help establish–in a word, obitiatry–as defined earlier.” [Kevorkian liked to coin terms. Obitiatry is the word he invented to describe experimenting on people as part of the practice of human euthanasia.)
6. Kevorkian wanted to experiment on the brains and nervous systems of people he was euthanizing, writing in his 1991 book Prescription Medicide:
If we are ever to penetrate the mystery of death–even superficially–it will have to be through obitiatry…But knowledge about the essence of human death will of necessity require insight into the nature of the unique awarness of consciosness that characterizes cognitive human life. That is possible only through obitiatric research on living human bodies, and most likely by concentrating on the central nervous system. [more]
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