Euthanasia and assisted suicide are established but generally unacknowledged medical practices. This chapter presents some impressions gleaned from viewing the videotape of Dr. Kevorkian interviewing Janet Adkins, a candidate for assisted suicide, two days before he helped to put her down. Mrs. Adkins appeared with her husband, who confirmed that his wife was suffering from an early stage dementing illness, entailing some forgetfulness of tennis scores, personal belongings, etc. He was in complete accord with the planned suicide. As a professional class, doctors are certainly not immune from the temptations of legalized killing. Most doctors do have the vocation, the identity of “Death fighter,” but a minority—small in number perhaps, but significant in their potential for harm—use the practice of medicine as a defense against the Thanatos within themselves. So as not to murder, they fight for life.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRight to Die Versus Sacredness of Life
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9781351841931
ISBN (Print)9780415786195
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


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