DR. JACK KEVORKIAN TELLS MIKE WALLACE HE WOULD REFUSE TO ASSIST IN A SUICIDE, EVEN THAT OF A PERSON IN TERRIBLE PAIN, BECAUSE HE PROMISED HIS PAROLE BOARD ON "60 MINUTES"
In His First Post-Prison Interview, Kevorkian Says He can Advocate Only for Legalization of Assisted Suicide or Euthanasia, Per the Terms of His Parole
Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who says he has helped more than 130 people commit suicide, would now refuse to aid in anyone's death, even someone in terrible pain, because he promised his parole board that he would not. Kevorkian talked to Mike Wallace today after serving more than eight years in prison for second-degree murder in the assisted suicide of a patient in 1998. The interview with Kevorkian, conducted today (1) at the McCamly Hotel in Battle Creek, Mich., was his first since gaining his freedom on parole this morning at 10:00 AM, ET. It will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES, Sunday, June 3 (7:00-8:00AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. A portion can be seen on tonight's CBS EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC.
"It would be painful for me but I would have to refuse them," says the 79-year-old pathologist to Wallace's question about what he would do if visited by a suicide seeker in terrible pain, "because I gave my word [to his parole board] that I wouldn't do it again... And I won't." He can't talk specifically about assisted suicide or euthanasia, either. "I won't discuss it like they stipulate. I won't...I gave my word," he tells Wallace.
The once bold assisted-suicide practitioner and advocate previously taped himself lethally injecting Thomas Youk, a Lou Gehrig's disease sufferer. He gave that tape to 60 MINUTES in 1998, providing the evidence that sent him to prison. To get out on parole, he also promised to be very careful in his public speech about assisted suicide or euthanasia. "Are you still permitted to be an advocate for assisted suicide and euthanasia?" asks Wallace. "No, just for its legalization. That's all. I always say, �It should be legal.'" When pressed by Wallace that such words would imply advocacy, Kevorkian replies, "Could be. Yeah, you could read a lot of things into that."
Wallace's report Sunday will also contain elements from the original report on Nov. 22, 1998, in which Kevorkian describes and illustrates Youk's death with his own videotape.