Assisted-suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian has died at a Detroit-area hospital at the age of 83.
His attorney, Mayer Morganroth, said that it appears that Kevorkian suffered a pulmonary thrombosis when a blood clot from his leg broke free and lodged in his heart.
“It was peaceful, he didn’t feel a thing,” Morganroth told the Detroit Free Press, adding that there were no artificial attempts to keep Kevorkian alive and no plans for a memorial.
Here’s how the New York Times described the man known as Dr. Death:
Dr. Kevorkian, a medical pathologist, challenged social taboos about disease and dying, willfully defied prosecutors and the courts, actively sought national celebrity, and spent eight years in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder in the death of the last of the more than 100 terminally ill patients whose lives he helped end.
… Kevorkian was a controversial figure. But his critics and supporters generally agree on this: As a result of his stubborn and often intemperate advocacy for the right of the terminally ill to choose how they die, hospice care has boomed in the United States, and physicians have become more sympathetic to their pain and more willing to prescribe medication to relieve it.
The Free Press, meanwhile, had this to say:
Dr. Jack Kevorkian — embraced as a compassionate crusader and reviled as a murderous crank — died early this morning. Known as Dr. Death even before launching his fierce advocacy and practice of assisted suicides, Kevorkian, 83, died at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, where he had been hospitalized with kidney and heart problems.