Twelve Angry Men And The Jurors Of The Kevorkian Trials

2347 words - 9 pages

“I can’t Function as a human being… I want the right to die,” pleaded Sherry Miller, patient of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the famous “Death Doctor” (Chermak 107). The entitlement to commit suicide was never a problem, that is until it was challenged by Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Kevorkian was born in Pontiac, Michigan in 1928 (Chermak 101). His infatuation with death started when his mother died from cancer. Kevorkian wanted to find an easier way to help people carry out their death wishes; therefore, his solution was a suicide machine (Chermak 103). In this way, more than 130 were helped by Dr. Kevorkian and his suicide machine (Chua-Eoan). Although Kevorkian was tried five times, he was found innocent four times (Chermak 108-115). His jury had an onerous time coming to their conclusion. Throughout Twelve Angry Men, written by Reginald Rose, Twelve jurors had to decide the fate of one boy convicted of stabbing his father in the chest. In the beginning, eleven of the twelve were positive that the boy was guilty and nothing could change their minds, but Juror Eight disagreed. He showed them the holes in each of the testimonies. After hours of debating, Juror Eight was able to convince most the jury into seeing reasonable doubt in the boys guilt. When the last vote was taken, the tally was eleven to one in favor of innocent. In the end, there are many similarities between the jurors from Twelve Angry Men and the jurors of the Kevorkian trials because they all had a complicated trial, and their rulings were influenced by their personal thoughts and pasts.
Throughout Dr. Kevorkian’s career, he challenged the law unlike many. Kevorkian was tried five times, but four out of the five he was found innocent due to the complications with his offences of the law (Chermak 108-115). For the first four trials, Kevorkian's patients technically killed themselves: they flipped the switch on Kevorkian's death machine, so he could not be deemed responsible for their deaths along with many of his patients (Chermak 108-113). Kevorkian was starting an uprising even though he is not the only doctor to assist in suicides. According to Joseph Bowermaster, author of “Death on Trial,” “There are 2,300 cases of doctors helping patients with suicide, 400 gave the lethal pills or the instrument used to complete the suicide and 1,040 killed without request or consent fromt the patient. In 45% of cases of involuntary euthanasia in hospitals, doctors didn't even consult family members.” There are many cases of doctors who, like Kevorkian, want to help the helpless. Dr. Jack Kevorkian was not the first doctor to assist in suicides, yet the government still didn't have a specific law prohibiting this type of work. The government fought hard against Kevorkian but the never won, since each time Kevorkian worked his way around the law. Not only did he show proof of consent, but he also made sure that he was never the one to flip the switch. However, on his last trial, Kevorkian did not continue...

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