DAILY CATHOLIC for December 10
NEWS & VIEWS
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vol, 8
no. 49

MICHIGAN SENATE PASSES ASSISTED SUICIDE BAN
      LANSING, Michigan (CWN) - Michigan's state Senate on Thursday approved a measure that would ban assisted suicide just one day after activist Jack Kevorkian allegedly assisted the suicide of a Detroit woman.

      The bill, approved 27-8, would make assisting in a suicide a felony punishable by four years in jail and a $2,000 fine, the same as an earlier temporary law that expired in 1994. Like the earlier law, a doctor prescribing drugs to relieve pain and suffering would not be liable, even if those drugs increased the risk of death. But in this measure, that prescription must come from a licensed physician who maintains a clinical practice in a fixed Michigan location, closing a loophole Kevorkian had used in the past to avoid prosecution and conviction.

      Kevorkian and his attorneys have stated that he has helped between 70 and 100 people kill themselves. The former pathologist lost his license to practice medicine in 1991 and has been acquitted on assisted suicide charges three times with a fourth trial ending in a mistrial. On Wednesday night, Dr. Georges Reding helped Martha Wichorek, 82, kill herself while Kevorkian was present in the woman's home, according to Kevorkian attorney Geoffrey Fieger.

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December 10, 1997       volume 8, no. 49
NEWS & VIEWS



December 1997