Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jack Kevorkian and Carol Loving: Self-Promoting Partners in Crime

Stephen Drake, who maintains the Not Dead Yet commentary blog wrote about Time Magazine's sloppy and inaccurate obituary for Dr. Jack Kevorkian (the serial killer of people with disabilities) in their "Person of the Year" issue. After reading Drake's post, I went to post a comment on the magazine's web edition of the obituary.

I read it and took a look at the comments that had already been left by others. One of them stood out. It was from Carol Loving (I know, the irony is just too much for me to address).

What I find bewildering about this article is the lack of factual knowledge about the doctor and his method of assisting the dying. I guess that is a sign of the times.
Dr. Kevorkian is the man of the century, the 20th century.
The most honest and dignified account of his service to mankind has been incorperated into a play, created in 2009, at Western Michigan University, in collaberation with Tectonic Theater Project.
The play is GOOD DEATH: A Community Conversation. In August of this year, the play received stellar reviews in Edinbugh, Scotland. It has the power to inspire all who see the performance.
We will see euthanasia follow the good works of Dr. Kevorkian !

Carol Loving, Author
My Son, My Sorrow: The Tragic Tale of Dr. Kevorkian's Youngest Patient
I almost have choked upon reading this! This woman had a son, Nick Loving, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. When her son became depressed about his limitations and became suicidal, she wrote to Jack Kevorkian asking him to help her kill her son. Now, she has a book all about how wonderful Kevorkian's work was. On her website, where she advertises her availability for interviews, she also mentions that she's currently in the process of "working on a novel based on the right to die". Well, isn't that just wonderful! Anyway, I decided to reply to her comment on the Time Magazine page. I know how comments that are critical of ableism tend to get deleted on websites, so I decided to post it here, too. Everything below this sentence is what I said to her. I added a link to the sentence where I made an accusation, so that the reader can see that I wasn't just making this up.

By the way, I think it's pretty sickening how you go around on the internet advertising your book (about how you helped Jack Kevorkian kill your son) and looking for someone to offer you a film deal for it. The title of your book says it all. It wasn't YOUR sorrow. You're still here. You're not the one who experienced Lou Gehrig's disease. You didn't even bother to help your son see it through to the end. Instead, you helped Kevorkian speed up the end and now you can go on with your life without the stress of being his caretaker.

I am eternally grateful that my husband and my parents didn't have your attitude when I was diagnosed with an incurable bone cancer in my chest. Instead of giving in to my feelings of hopelessness, they insisted that the life I still had was valuable and worth living. It took a little while, but I began to see the truth in what they were saying. Not long after that, the doctors told me that a new form of radiation technology had been developed and that I was the perfect candidate for it. To orthopedic oncologist's surprise, the combination of radiation and surgery was enough to stop the progression of my cancer and here I am eight years later.

I feel such anguish for those people with disabilities who didn't have loved ones that cared enough to help them hold on. Science advances so quickly now that new treatments are always being developed and if you keep living just a little while longer, there's a very good chance that your quality of life can be improved.

I've seen my daughter graduate from elementary school, then middle school, and now she's 2 years from graduating high school and starting college. I would have missed so much joy, if my family had allowed me to give in to the depression that I felt after receiving the cancer diagnosis. Thankfully, no one considered my life to be "their sorrow". They considered it a blessing, because it allowed us to learn just how valuable a commitment to love and hope can be.


sanda aronson said...

Hi. I got here via NotDeadYet and Stephen Drake's blog entry. I read this entry and shall be back for more as can. I have severe CFS/ME. I'm an artist and was tickled, pleased and delighted that your daughter is. It's great to find a woman blogger. PS I lived in NOLA from 1965-67. With luck, I'll be 18@72 on Feb. 29, 2012.

Rootietoot said...

Have I told you lately that I love you?