Today’s editorial cartoon was inspired by the life and death of the doctor known as “Dr Death”: Jack Kevorkian. For those unfamiliar with the name, Jack was a doctor who brought the topic of physician assisted suicide to the forefront when he used his position to aid terminally ill patients end their life before whatever disease they had ravaged their mind or body. Proponents say he let people die with dignity. Yet even those who are for physician assisted suicide, said that Jack should NOT be the poster child for HOW to best go about it. According to this NY Times article, “He did not appear to screen patients to determine whether they were actually close to death, and he seemed to make no efforts to get counseling for those who might have wanted to live longer.”
Oh and did I mention in his free time, he was a painter?
This one is called “Very Still Life” (image from the Ariana Gallery). See more of his work and probably now overpriced prints at the Ariana Gallery
I’m surprised he went out like he did. I kind of thought he’d eventually end up doing something like that (or get hit by a car).
At least he wasn’t still in jail.
Phew, for a minute I though you were still on your vegetable/asparagus Hallmark theme.
7 years in jail and Dr Death still didn’t practice what he preached.
I am. You didn’t notice the liquid form of leafy green vegetables in the syringe?
I was more focused on Dr Potato head 🙂
I’m beginning to see where that whole assisted suicide part came in…
Jack was just trying to get his hands on some props for his still paintings…
I was really wondering where he got the inspiration for the one with the guys head cut off.
I hope he didn’t leave a bunch of inspiration laying around in a freezer somewhere…
Or some garbage bags.
Hope they’re Hefty’s too.
Probably would not have been the time for ‘ol jack to cheap-out on bags…
Nice one. Wonder if he did want or have any help in his own death. Did he really do those paintings? That’s crazy.
Yes and it really pisses me off that someone with a day job could draw better than me. True I have a day job too but that is beside the point.
Well, his position is now vacant Bearman !!!!!
Maybe I should go back to school for my medical degree.
Meh. You draw much better than he
You are biased.
Yes. Yes, I am.
Those painting are an interesting find. I didn’t know much about him other than the right to die stuff. I don’t imagine he had those paintings up in his waiting room.
I think he started selling them to help pay for all his legal fees.
I always figured he’s be the victim of someone like Dexter or a relative of a former patient. I still bet there was pool building to see who would get the honor of pulling his plug. 🙂
I am not sure he would fit in Dexter’s code (great show btw)
Hey, that’s a pretty well-rendered painting. I don’t know why, but I find it odd that a lot of serial killers and dictators have artistic talent. Hitler started his regime after not getting accepted in art school. Hmm…I wonder if it’s something in the chromosomes.
What? I can’t make money doing something I am talented at. Who should I kill then to get attention.
You are right but I don’t know why/how they make that leap.
Artists are a crazy bunch on the edge of insanity and or greatness and or madness and or are really nice people whom you can trust implicitly but not really or something crazy like that or maybe that’s just a myth or it’s inherited genius or something. Or maybe not.
Probably too much chocolate.
Or maybe not enough.
Another psuedo celeb returns to whence he came.
And another psuedo cartoonist pokes fun at it.
Thanks for the link to the New York Times article bearman. I had no idea that Oregon had a Death With Dignity Act – very impressive. I’m moving to Portland if I get a painful terminal cancer.
I think Kevorkian was a bit of a nut but as Barbara Coombs Lee article says, he was pivotal to the movement. Shame is art is so bad. Utterly without humour.
Unless Australia allows for medical marijuana and then you might want to stay there.
Ha,ha,ha. A little self medicating. Funny stuff. Thanks for the bonus information. I didn’t know about that.
That’s what happens when I research a post. I start in one direction and end up in another.
You ccould trust that the man knew what he was doing. Contrary to most of us, he’d been there before.
He died before?
I am unfamiliar with how he died. Did he give himself the syringe? Your post didn’t say. I’ll have to Google.
Hmmm… Died of natural causes eh? What a cop out.
“Ya took the easy way out Jack!!!”
Not a very good promo for his assisted suicide movement
Well as many evangelists, they don’t listen to their own advice.
Don’t people in the public eye get more popular after they die. Now more people will wanna be just like him & wanna die of natural causes. Where can I buy the Music CD he was making just before his death
I didn’t hear about the music CD.
He’s probably not too worried about promoting his movement now.
He wasn’t a proctologist so I don’t think he was too concerned about promoting his movement Binky… 😛
If he was a proctologist, he would be concerned about promoting YOUR movement.
I saw this on the news and did a double take. Well at least he is where ever he is and not here
Wherever is he?
Hell, the abyss, Heaven, maybe even Valhalla! Don’t know!
I’m sure Valhalla New York is like hell but I have never been there.
Too funny. I was talking about the Viking hell/Heaven. ill try and make this brief. When you die as a viking they believe that you will walk a long way till you come to a bridge. Once you get there you meet yourself. If yourself shows up ugly you led a bad life and the two of you will fight to the death. If you led a good like you will cross the bridge and live in Valhalla, where you eat drink and be merry.
Well not all C.O.D’s are created equal. If he had something where he wasn’t in horrible pain, he could just let nature take it’s course without being a total hypocrite. I did not know about the painting. And the discussion this cartoon inspired about a possible link between artistic talent (or lack thereof) and a penchant for killing was quite interesting. Haha I am the worst drawer of any of you so we know it doesn’t apply to me!
So anyone who can draw better than me is now suspect of being a serial killer. Take notice all you Rembrandts out there.
If your terminally ill and you KNOW time is no longer on your side, I see nothing wrong with comfort measures to ease you into death. I’ve watched my share of loved ones die a slow death due to illness and frankly the notion of comfort dying is fine by me. However, Ole Jack here, I think, blurred the lines between assisting and outright killing, which has made the whole argument of a “comfort death” that much harder for people to wrap their heads around.
I think you are in the camp of the Oregon crew. As they said, he did great things bringing the issue to the forefront but they wish he wasn’t the poster child based on his lack of oversight in the process.
I’m really not sure where i stand on this, even if legalised it should be intensely moderated
Having never smoked it in my life, I say let’s legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes first to see if it can ease pain. I find it so ridiculous that there are drugs out there that may help many of these people yet b/c of their addictive nature we can’t use it for medicinal purposes.
I had my art analyzed and they said that I was no potential dictator or serial killer.
haha Bo, you kill me. Wait. Not literally.
I kind of assumed that’s what happened.
I have a sixth sense. Unfortunately I tend to use only about 4 of them.
I remember the original video on 20/20 where he killed that patient on video – that creeped me out big time.
I don’t remember that but I remember talk about his RV.
WOW! I never knew he was a painter.
Makes you wonder how many artists go about helping people bump themselves off…Bearman could be one of ’em!
Just like Scapula, I have been rejected from clique after clique (including Scaps) so you never know.
If there was morphine in that syringe I would have done the same thing.
He was way ahead of his time.
We aren’t talking recreational use Scott..haha
Having seen so many crappy deaths at first hand, I have always admired this man’s realistic attitude. Sorry if that causes offence…
This is no place for anyone to take offense. (or offence).
I’m offended. Or maybe offenced. I’m not sure.
Binky, having briefly flown around Wombania, I assume you are joking?
That probability is likely, yes. I’m sorry if I offended you.
I thought Wombania was a no fly zone.
It depends on what you’re flying.
When I saw the “For He is Raised” painting in thumbnail form, I thought the praying hands was a part of the female anatomy. 😉
At first I just thought you were sick. Now I can’t unsee it. haha
I’m not here to say whether he was right or wrong. It is my opinion that he shouldnt have been arrested. I’m just saying that currently there is a growing movement toward dying with dignity in many other countries.. The Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland and Belgium to name just a few. In fact, I think the Netherlands is actually trying to do away with “Death tourism” as folks are traveling there to die with dignity.
Personally, I think people should have the right to die with dignity if they are deemed terminal. Particularly in cases of Alzheimer’s or progressive demtia. On the other hand, WHO exactly IS responsible for “deeming”. In my mind, certainly not the ones providing the service. People need to be responsible for themselves and decide what is best for them. I think that’s the Libertarian in me talking. Guess I’m just rambling on now…
I think many people are in agreement with you Lynn. But as you said, who deems it? What diseases or afflictions qualify?
Don’t get me started…
Dave! Where the hell have you been? Do you still have a blog? Come visit sometime! I’ve missed you.
I was thinking of this post last night and I think where he really went wrong was to televise his death machine to the world. At the time, even I felt that was a poor judgement call. As far as what diseases or afflictions qualify, I’d have to say that aggressive dementia and Alzheimer’s would be tops on the list since Rip lost his mother to this dreaded disease at the young age of 55. Very sad. 🙁
The hard part is at what point does the person still have the capacity to ask for it.
PS In perusing his art, I do think it demonstrates a bizarre fascination with death. Too bad it will put his his “dying with dignity thing” in a bad light. tsk tsk..
I think he did it to pay his legal fees. And that would probably sell better than a vase of flowers.
wtf was that.
are you kidding me? was anyone aware of this art when he was alive? cus if so, i’m pretty sure all crediblity would have gone out the window.
I think alot were. As I said above he had to target his audience with his art so he could make money to pay his legal fees.
Wow. Just —wow! first: Great cartoon.
Second: I agree about “dying with Dignity”
Third: I DON’T agree with it being up to the person who wants to die, terminal illness or no(or I wouldn’t have lived long enough to learn how to be happy). But I have no clue who -or how many people- it would take to make the decision.
Fourth:I love the compassion and humour in the comments on this one. You guys are awesome!
I agree. I like that we can disagree at times but not be assholes about it.
I like this nice editorial cartoon very much.It is really a best collection of this blog.
Hey Bearman, see your posts over at the Webcomic Alliance a lot and on other sites I follow. Came by to see your work, good stuff. That’s a great Jack K. you’ve created up there. Funny strip, love the doctor’s expression. Keep up the great work!
Thanks Mark. Hope to see you around again. Heading to your place to check out yours.
Whoa–I didn’t know about his art, until now! I just clicked on the site, and saw more works of his that make me less ambivalent about his true motive!
I don’t think you are alone on this blog.
I am totally impress to read this nice sharing.