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Jack Kevorkian Trials: 1994-99

Michigan Suspends Kevorkian's License

Within a month the eight-member Michigan Board of Medicine suspended Kevorkian's license indefinitely. The suspension, they hoped, would make it impossible for him to get or prescribe lethal drugs and, if he again assisted a suicide, would expose him to the criminal charge of practicing without a license.

Dr. L.J. Dragovic, the Oakland County medical examiner, ruled that both women's deaths were homicides because "suicide is reserved for self-inflicted death" and "all the evidence indicates these deaths were brought about by another person."

In February 1992, the doctor was indicted on two counts of murder and one of delivery of a controlled substance. Free on $15,000 bond, Kevorkian advised a California dentist by telephone and mail on how to kill himself with a suicide machine. The dentist did in fact proceed with his suicide.

On May 15 in Clawson, Michigan, Dr. Kevorkian provided the canister of carbon monoxide as another multiple sclerosis victim killed herself. Again the medical examiner ruled homicide. On July 21, Michigan Circuit Court Judge David Breck dismissed the earlier murder charges, saying the doctor had merely assisted the suicides, which was not illegal in Michigan.

September and November, 1992, brought two more Kevorkian-assisted suicides. This prompted Michigan's House of Representatives to vote, 72-29, to ban assisted suicide for 15 months while a state commission studied the issue. "It's a bill against one person," said the doctor. "It's like we're still in the Dark Ages."

The ban was to begin March 30, 1993. In January and February, Dr. Kevorkian helped eight more terminally ill patients commit suicide. Each time, the police confiscated the doctor's paraphernalia. And each time he built a new machine. Incensed, the Legislature passed a hurry-up ban for Michigan Governor John Engler to sign on February 25.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994Jack Kevorkian Trials: 1994-99 - The Public Debate Over Assisted Suicide Begins, Michigan Suspends Kevorkian's License, The Severely Iii Ask Kevorkian For Help