Family Research Council on Kevorkian Sentence

WASHINGTON, -- "Finally, the relentless Kevorkian killing campaign will cease," Family Research Council's Legal Analyst Teresa Wagner said Tuesday. "America now knows that its homicide laws protect the weak, the sick and the disabled, as well as those who are strong and healthy."

In a Michigan court on Tuesday, Dr. Jack Kevorkian was sentenced to 10 to 25 years in prison for giving a lethal injection to an ailing man whose death was shown on "60 Minutes." He also was given three to seven years for delivery of a controlled substance. It was the first time in five trials that he was found guilty.

"Any American who will ever be a patient -- which is to say, every American -- should celebrate that the law was upheld," Wagner said. "For now, America can commit to caring for patients, not killing them."

In her sentence, Judge Jessica Cooper sharply criticized Kevorkian's actions. "It was about lawlessness. It was about disrespect for a society that exists because of the strength of the legal system. No one, sir, is above the law. No one.

"You had the audacity to go on national television, show the world what you did and dare the legal system to stop you. Well, sir, consider yourself stopped."

"The American public clearly rejects killing as a way of solving medical problems," Wagner said. "In fact, the most lopsided vote ever recorded on the question of assisted suicide occurred right in Michigan just last fall with the defeat of Proposal B by 71% to 29%. With Dr. Kevorkian's conviction, the citizens of Michigan have again reassured the nation of their sound judgment in rejecting killing as a response to disease or disability.

"Those of good will should unite to improve care for our sick: getting existing pain relief techniques to patients in discomfort; screening and treating for depression and demoralization among those fighting disease; and supporting hospice care for the families who need it."

SOURCE: Family Research Council

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