Picture yourself in this situation. You go to the doctor for a routine physical. You
look fine. You feel good. All those exhausting workouts at the gym are finally starting
to pay off and you actually stuck to that low fat, high vitamin diet you're doctor
recommended. You have never felt better. You are essentially the epitome of a healthy,
fit human being. Then, out of nowhere, you are diagnosed with a disorder of the nervous
system accompanied by chronic fatigue syndrome. The illness is permanent and there is
no cure. It will only progress and worsen with time, and all you can do is wait. What
would you do?
If you were 42-year-old Judith Curren, a nurse and mother of two small children,
you'd be in close contact with the infamous suicide assessor, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a.k.a.
'Doctor Death,' discussing your 'options.' However, according to an editorial published
in The Washington Post, entitled '38 Assisted Suicides,' many people believe that when
it comes to matters such as life and death, there are no options.
The decision to live or
die is made by God. Judith Curren didn't agree. With the assistance of Dr. Kevorkian,
she died and the retired pathologist presided at his 38th assisted suicide, fairly confident
that he will not be prosecuted or even suffer public disapproval.
Many of the people who have sought out Dr. Kevorkian have been terribly ill and
suffering, with no hope of long-term survival. Their stories offered examples that built
public sympathy for this cause. But from the beginning, even among observers who
believe that the desperately sick should be given help to die, there have been questionable
cases. For example, a woman in her fifties allegedly suffering from early Alzheimer's
disease was fit enough to play tennis with...