The Historical Kevorkian

By Wesley Smith

Wesley Smith

Wesley Smith

I am often asked for interviews by students who are writing papers about the assisted suicide issue. I am always happy to oblige. Most ask why I oppose assisted suicide and whether I think guidelines can prevent the slippery slope. But, the other day, I was contacted by a high-schooler writing a paper about something I had never considered: the historical significance of Jack Kevorkian.

Having cut my anti-euthanasia advocacy teeth during Kevorkian’s assisted suicide spree in the 1990s, I was deeply involved in opposing everything he represented. But until I received this interview request, I had never considered what his legacy might be.

It is too soon to answer what, if any, historical significance Kevorkian will have. I hope none. If we are a moral society in one hundred years, he will be remembered—if he is remembered at all—as a crass social outlaw, operating at a time of cultural hesitancy, who preyed upon the despairing in pursuit of his own nihilistic ends. But there’s a chance we will not be a moral society. So, I did my best to put on my “objective hat” and give the most dispassionate answer I could.

Here is part of what I wrote:

Link to the full article.