Editorial Cartoon: Jack Kevorkian

Editorial Cartoon: Jack Kevorkian

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? 

Jack Kevorkian Very Still Life

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

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91 Responses to “Editorial Cartoon: Jack Kevorkian”

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  1. Nate Fakes says:

    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).

  2. Friggin Loon says:

    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.

  3. 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…

  4. Nice one. Wonder if he did want or have any help in his own death. Did he really do those paintings? That’s crazy.

  5. lisleman says:

    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.

  6. George says:

    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. 🙂

  7. George says:

    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.

    • Bearman says:

      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.

  8. G says:


    Another psuedo celeb returns to whence he came.

  9. nursemyra says:

    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.

  10. MJ says:

    Ha,ha,ha. A little self medicating. Funny stuff. Thanks for the bonus information. I didn’t know about that.

  11. Nef says:

    You ccould trust that the man knew what he was doing. Contrary to most of us, he’d been there before.

  12. Tony McGurk says:

    I am unfamiliar with how he died. Did he give himself the syringe? Your post didn’t say. I’ll have to Google.

  13. Tony McGurk says:

    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

  14. I saw this on the news and did a double take. Well at least he is where ever he is and not here

    • Bearman says:

      Wherever is he?

      • Hell, the abyss, Heaven, maybe even Valhalla! Don’t know!

        • Bearman says:

          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.

  15. 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!

    • Bearman says:

      So anyone who can draw better than me is now suspect of being a serial killer. Take notice all you Rembrandts out there.

  16. jynksie says:

    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.

    • Bearman says:

      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.

  17. Cool humour.
    I’m really not sure where i stand on this, even if legalised it should be intensely moderated

    • Bearman says:

      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.

  18. Bo Lumpkin says:

    I had my art analyzed and they said that I was no potential dictator or serial killer.

  19. I kind of assumed that’s what happened.

  20. Dr. Cynicism says:

    I remember the original video on 20/20 where he killed that patient on video – that creeped me out big time.

  21. DadaHyena says:

    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!

  22. If there was morphine in that syringe I would have done the same thing.

    He was way ahead of his time.

  23. Dave Hambidge says:

    Having seen so many crappy deaths at first hand, I have always admired this man’s realistic attitude. Sorry if that causes offence…

  24. Jillsy Girl says:

    When I saw the “For He is Raised” painting in thumbnail form, I thought the praying hands was a part of the female anatomy. 😉

  25. Lynn says:

    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…

    • Bearman says:

      I think many people are in agreement with you Lynn. But as you said, who deems it? What diseases or afflictions qualify?

      • Dave Hambidge says:

        Don’t get me started…

      • Lynn says:

        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. 🙁

  26. Lynn says:

    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..

  27. wtf was that.

    holy shit.

    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.

    • Bearman says:

      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.

  28. Jande says:

    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!

  29. I like this nice editorial cartoon very much.It is really a best collection of this blog.

  30. Mark Stokes says:

    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!

  31. Scott says:

    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!

  32. I am totally impress to read this nice sharing.

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