Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the controversial assisted suicide doctor, dubbed “Doctor Death” by some, passed away today in a Michigan hospital, reportedly from kidney and respiratory problems. Not long before his death, the 83-year-old medical pathologist was the inspiration for an HBO movie titled You Don’t Know Jack, in which Kevorkian was portrayed by Al Pacino.
In the poster for the film, Pacino is wearing reddish, thick-framed tortoise shell prescription glasses, with a keystone bridge, much like the ones Kevorkian wore in real life. Pacino also sports a knowing smirk, emblematic of the real Kevorkian’s love of making controversial statements to the media while advocating for legal euthanasia.
In the New York Times’ obituary, the author claims that even Kevorkian’s harshest critics should give him credit for one positive change in our country. “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 articles states.
After many assisted suicides in which the patients administered lethal substances to themselves, Kevorkian himself gave the fatal injection to a patient in 1998. He spent 8 years in prison for this before being paroled on good behavior four years ago.