M*A*S*H and Kevorkian

The left-hand side is the lyrics to 'Suicide Is Painless', the haunting theme of long-running Korean War drama M*A*S*H, and on the right is a mini-biography of active assisted suicide proponent Jack Kevorkian.

   Suicide Is Painless

   Through early morning fog I see
   visions of the things to be,
   the pains that are withheld for me
   I realize and I can see that...

   Suicide is painless.
   It brings on many changes,
   and I can take or leave it if I please.

   I try to find a way to make
   all our little joys relate
   without that ever-present hate,
   but now I know that it's too late, and...


   The game of life is hard to play.
   I'm gonna lose it anyway.
   The losing card I'll someday lay,
   so this is all I have to say.


   The only way to win is cheat
   and lay it down before I'm beat
   and to another give my seat,
   for that's the only painless feat.


   The sword of time will pierce our skins.
   It doesn't hurt when it begins,   
   but, as it works its way on in,
   the pain grows stronger ... watch it grin. But...


   A brave man once requested me
   to answer questions that are key -
   is it to be or not to be,
   and I replied 'oh, why ask me?'

   'Cause suicide is painless.
   It brings on many changes,
   and I can take or leave it if I please.
   ...and you can do the same thing if you please.


   Jack Kevorkian

   'Dying is not a crime'.


   'Dr. Death' (it came about with publishing of his eye analysis piece
   'The Fundus Oculi and the Determination of Death').

   Kevorkian is a zany, able pathologist with an interest in greyer areas
   of ethics/philosophy.
   After approaching prisons to suggest that they try to initiate blood
   transfusions from late death-row inmates to still-alive bodies, he
   went into the private sector. where some money was to be easily had in
   assisted suicide.  The work generally was as a 'death counselor'.
   No longer with a state medical licence, he chose to abandon his 
   'Thanatron' (enabling persons who want voluntary euthanasia to use 
   needles to obtain IV solution with its euthanising opiate drug) and 
   toss it away for the 'Mercitron', with its CO cannister only.

   Summary of ruling by state's legal system:
   Guilty of killing: homicide II.

   Served quite a few years 'away'.  He was released by reason of terminal
   illness (hepatitis).

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