January 5, 1994
Kevorkian was arraigned on the Oakland County charge and $100 bond was set. It was paid by his supporters and he was released.
January 6, 1994
The Michigan Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the ACLU challenge and two criminal cases involving Kevorkian.
January 28, 1994
Kevorkian was released from house arrest after Judge Jessica Cooper declared the assisted suicide law void. She said the Legislature's passage of the law violated constitutional rules governing enactment of laws. (Single object provision)
January 29, 1994
Compassion in Dying, a Washington state organization committed to assisting people in their suicides, files suit in federal court to have that state's ban on assisted suicide ruled unconstitutional. (Eventually known as Washington v. Glucksberg)
January 30, 1994
Jack Kevorkian addressed worshipers in St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, Livonia, to kick off his petition drive to amend the state constitution allowing assisted suicide. More than 257,000 signatures are needed to place the amendment on the November 1994 ballot.
February 12, 1994
Sue Rodriguez, of British Columbia, Canada, died from an apparent lethal injection from an unnamed physician. Rodriguez had Lou Gehrig's disease and allegedly died in the arms of a Canadian Member of Parliament, Svend Robinson.
February 18, 1994
Kevorkian was ordered to stand trial in the Thomas Hyde case. Detroit Recorders Court Judge Thomas Jackson said he was not bound by the circuit judge's ruling which declared the law unconstitutional.
April 22, 1994
During the Wayne County trial Kevorkian attorney, Geoffrey Fieger contended that Thomas Hyde's death did not take place in Wayne County, but in Oakland County. He also appealed to the sympathy of the jurors, by trying to prove Kevorkian was relieving pain and not intending to kill Thomas Hyde.
April 29, 1994
Jurors began deliberations; after five hours they were adjourned for the weekend.
May 2, 1994
Jurors acquit Kevorkian of any wrongdoing in the Hyde case. They concluded his intent in using carbon monoxide gas was to relieve pain, not to kill.
May 3, 1994
U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein strikes down Washington's ban on assisted suicide as unconstitutionally infringing on the rights of the terminally ill. Rothstein cited the privacy rights and liberty interests referenced in the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions in Casey and Cruzan cases.
May 10, 1994
The Michigan Court of Appeals, by a 2-1 vote, struck down the state's assisted suicide law on technical grounds. The court ruled that Kevorkian cannot be tried under the assisted suicide law, but he can be tried under common law for murder. The court ruled that there is no active law against committing suicide, while also ruling that there is no constitutional right to having assistance in committing suicide.
May 25, 1994
The New York State Task Force on Life and the Law issued a unanimous report rejecting calls for the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia. The Task Force focused heavily on the dangers legalized medical killing would have for the poor, elderly, minorities, and disabled. Even members of the Task Force personally supportive of assisted suicide agreed that it should not be legalized.
June 6, 1994
The Michigan Supreme Court agreed to hear appeals brought by all parties involved in the May 10 Court of Appeals decision. Oral arguments were set for October 4, 1994.
June 8, 1994
The Michigan Commission on Death and Dying held its last meeting to approve its final report on the recommendations to the Legislature regarding an assisted suicide law. The report had four main components: (1) a consensus report on issues which the Commission agreed; (2) a report decriminalizing "Aid-in-Dying"; (3) a report offering procedural safeguards for legalization; (4) and a report opposing legalization of assisted suicide. Due to the ruling of the court striking down the law which created the Commission, the report was not officially presented to the Legislature.
June 21, 1994
The Dutch Supreme Court upheld the acquittal of Dr. Boudewijn Chabot, who had provided 50 year-old Hilly Bosscher with lethal medications for her suicide. Bosscher had no physical illness, but had been suffering from chronic depression and emotional distress.
July 4, 1994
Jack Kevorkian announces that the petition drive to place a constitutional amendment regarding euthanasia on the ballot failed to obtain enough signatures.
October 4, 1994
Oral arguments in four cases regarding assisted suicide are heard in the Michigan Supreme Court.
November 8, 1994
Oregon narrowly approved the Death with Dignity Act by a vote of 51% to 49%.
November 16, 1994
Robert Latimer of Canada was convicted of second degree murder of his daughter. He was sentenced to life in prison, eligible for parole in 10 years. He is out on bail pending appeal.
November 25, 1994
Section 7 of P.A. 270 (ban on assisted suicide) repeals itself.
November 26, 1994
Kevorkian claims to attend the 21st suicide since 1990. Margaret Garish, 70, of Royal Oak, died by carbon monoxide poisoning. Ms. Garish had severe rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. In this case, Kevorkian was not present when authorities arrived, nor was the mechanism or device by which she allegedly committed suicide present.
November 29, 1994
Legislation to re-enact a ban on assisted suicide is introduced into the Senate by Sen. Fred Dillingham (S.B. 1311) and into the House by Reps. Joe Palamara and Ken Sikkema (H.B. 5968). Rep. Lynn Jondahl introduces H.B. 5966 to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia ("Aid-in-Dying").
On the same day, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit heard arguments in the Washington State case.
December 7, 1994
The Michigan Senate passes S.B.1311 without amendment by a vote of 26-9.
December 13, 1994
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that assisting in a suicide is a common law felony, and that there is not a protected right to suicide assistance under the constitution. The Michigan Legislature failed in an all-night session to pass a new ban on assisted suicide.
December 16, 1994
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Griesa ruled that New York state's law banning assisted suicide was constitutional. The case was identical to that brought by Compassion in Dying in Washington State. Dr. Timothy Quill was among the plaintiffs to bring the suit. (Vacco v. Quill)
December 27, 1994
U.S. District Michael Judge Hogan issues a preliminary injunction indefinitely halting Oregon's DWDA after a week-long hearing.
January 10, 1995
Derek Humphry and John Hofess, executive director of the Right to Die Society of Canada, launch DeathNet, a website on the Internet dedicated expressly to assisted suicide and euthanasia issues.
March 3, 1995
Jack Kevorkian and the ACLU appeal the Michigan Supreme Court decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
March 9, 1995
U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit, by a 2-1 vote reverses Judge Rothstein's decision, finding no constitutionally protected right to assisted suicide, and reinstating Washington's ban.
March 28, 1995
Yokahama District Court Judge Shigen Matsuura issued a 2 year suspended sentence to Dr. Masahito Tokunaga, a 38 year-old physician found guilty in April 1991 of murdering a cancer patient with a lethal injection of potassium chloride. Judge Matsuura's opinion included a list of guidelines for physicians to follow in order to avoid prosecution.
April 24, 1995
The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Kevorkian and the ACLU appeals.
April 26, 1995
A Dutch court issued no punishment for Dr. Hank Prins despite finding him guilty of murder in the death of a newborn girl to whom he gave a lethal injection of medication. The court found that Prins had a choice between two "irreconcilable obligations" -- preserving the child's life or ending her suffering. Two weeks earlier (4/13/95) the prosecutor had urged the court to find Prins guilty but assess no punishment.
May 1, 1995
Kevorkian's attorney Geoffrey Fieger announced he will file a petition in federal court to block pending prosecutions in Oakland Co. under the common law.
May 8, 1995
Kevorkian attends his 22nd assisted suicide. Rev. John Evans, 78, of Royal Oak, MI, died of carbon monoxide poisoning. He was diagnosed with a lung disease.
May 12, 1995
Kevorkian attended his 23rd suicide. Nicholas John Loving, 27 of Phoenix, AZ. died of carbon monoxide poisoning. He had ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease. Loving was found in the back of Kevorkian's van parked in the lot of the sheriff's department in Oakland Co.
May 12, 1995
The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's 1991 civil injunction permanently barring Kevorkian from assisting in suicides.
May 25, 1995
The 25 member Parliament of Australia's remote Northern Territory voted to legalize "voluntary" suicide, by a vote of 15-10.
June 6, 1995
After a lengthy hearings process, a Canadian Senate committee recommended that assisted suicide and euthanasia remain illegal, but that severe penalties for some euthanasia cases be lessened.
June 26, 1995
Kevorkian opened his "Mercy Clinic"/"Obitorium". His first patient (24th assisted suicide) was Erika Garcellano of Kansas City, MO., 60 years old. She had Lou Gehrig's disease. Her cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning. Kevorkian rented an old hardware store building to house his "clinic".
June 27, 1995
The owners of the building Kevorkian rented told him to vacate the premises, and gave him 30 days. They said they were misled as to the purpose of his use of the building. Kevorkian moved out immediately.
August 3, 1995
Judge Hogan permanently enjoins Oregon's DWDA, issuing an opinion that the law unconstitutionally fails to provide equal protection of the law for terminally ill persons.
August 21, 1995
Kevorkian assists in the suicide of Esther Cohan, 46, of Skokie, Ill. Cohan had multiple sclerosis and died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Cohan's body was left in the back seat of a car apparently owned by Kevorkian and parked in the physician's parking lot of an Oakland County hospital.
The Hemlock Society of Northern California becomes the 7th of 87 national Hemlock chapters to expand their support of euthanasia to include non-terminal patients.
October 26, 1995
A full panel (en banc) of the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals re-hears arguments in the Compassion in Dying case, challenging the constitutionality of Washington state's assisted suicide ban.
October 30, 1995
Jack Kevorkian is joined by six other physicians to form the group "Physicians for Mercy."
November 8, 1995
Kevorkian assists in the suicide of Patricia Cashman, 58, of San Marcos,CA. Her body was left in the same car as Esther Cohan's and parked outside the office of the Oakland County morgue. Cashman allegedly had breast cancer that had spread throughout her body. The autopsy revealed no cancer in any major organs and only microscopic traces elsewhere in her body. Evidence indicated that the intravenous "suicide machine" Kevorkian used in the past may have been used again in this case.
December 4, 1995
Kevorkian's Physician's for Mercy group releases its guidelines for "patholysis" -- the procedure which patients would follow in order to receive lethal assistance from one of the "obitiatrists" in Physicians for Mercy. It is also announced that Kevorkian will receive a $20,000 award from the Sovereign Fund, a foundation established by California millionaire Kurt Simon dedicated to promoting individual freedom. Kevorkian indicates that he will use the funds to establish his next mercy clinic.
January 29, 1996
Kevorkian assists in the suicide of Linda Henslee. The 48 year old woman from Beloit, WI had multiple sclerosis and died from inhaling carbon monoxide. Her body was found in Kevorkian's van parked outside the Oakland Co. Medical Examiner's Office.
February 12, 1996
Trial begins for Jack Kevorkian for the 1993 deaths of Merian Fredricks and Dr. Ali Khalili.
February 20, 1996
The Parliament of the Northern Territory of Australia passed a bill providing necessary enacting amendments to the original bill legalizing "voluntary assisted suicide." The amendments were necessary to ensure the law could be implemented. An effort to repeal the original law was defeated by pro-euthanasia votes in the parliament. The "Rights of the Terminally Ill Act" is the only euthanasia measure in the world ever passed by a parliment.
March 6, 1996
The federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down Washington state's assisted suicide ban. The court invented a new constitutional right to lethal assistance for terminally ill persons. The decision also indicated that the Oregon Measure 16 should be considered constitutional.
March 8, 1996
The jury in the Kevorkian trial find him not guilty of assisting in suicides. The jury used an exemption in the law for doctors using medications to relieve pain as its basis for acquittal. They claimed Kevorkian was only relieving suffering, not trying to cause death.
April 1, 1996
The third assisted suicide trial of Jack Kevorkian begins in the cases of Sharon Miller and Marjorie Wanz. Kevorkian showed up wearing Colonial-era clothing to show how medieval the charges were.
April 3, 1996
The U. S. 2nd Court of Appeals struck down the New York assisted suicide ban. The court ruled that it violates the equal-protection clause of the 14th Amendment to allow some terminally ill adults to hasten their deaths by directing the removal of life-support systems, but to prohibit other terminally ill adults from seeking and taking lethal doses of drugs prescribed by a doctor.
April 18, 1996
Judge Breck allows an angry Kevorkian to leave midway through the second day of the trial, but told him to return to testify. The jurors were not present, but were told that Kevorkian voluntarily excused himself from the trial.
May 6, 1996
Near the close of his second trial, Kevorkian attended the suicide of Austin Bastable, 53, of Ontario, Canada. He had multiple sclerosis. The assisted suicide took place in the home of Janet Good, former president of Hemlock of Michigan, four other physicians were present. Carbon monoxide was the cause of death.
May 14, 1996
The jury acquitted Kevorkian of assisted suicide charges, after three days of deliberations. They believed his intent was to relieve the suffering not to kill the person.
June 13, 1996
Kevorkian was present at the death of Ruth Neuman, 69, from Columbus NJ. She died from carbon monoxide poisoning, she was wheeled into a Ponitac hospital by her son. She was partially paralyzed from a stroke, three years prior, and had also battled uterine cancer. The Oakland Co Medical Examiner said there was nothing in her body which indicated a terminal illness, although she was not a healthy woman.
June 19, 1996
The body of Lona Jones, 58, of Chester,VA was wheeled into a hospital by her husband. Kevorkian's attorney said Kevorkian and other doctors attended the suicide, but would not say who or where it took place. She had been treated for brain cancer. She died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
June 20, 1996
The body of Betty Lou Hamilton, 67, of Columbus, OH, was taken to a Pontiac hospital by her friend and Kevorkian lawyer Geoffrey Fieger. She had a disease called syringomyelia. She died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
July 4, 1996
Kevorkian attended the death of Shirley Cline, 63, of Oceanside, Calif. She had bowel cancer, and died from an intravenous injection. She was the 32nd assisted suicide.
July 10, 1996
The body of Rebecca Badger, 37, of California, was brought to a Pontiac hospital by Jack Kevorkian. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Cause of death was intravenous injection, she was the 33rd assisted suicide.
August 6, 1996
Elizabeth Mercz, 59, of Cincinnati, Ohio. Diagnosed with ALS-Lou Gehrig's disease. She died from an intravenous injection, and was the 34th assisted suicide.
August 15, 1996
Judith Curren, 42, of Pembrook, Mass. Diagnosed with a combination of fibromyalgia & chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome. There were allegations of spousal abuse, and psychiatric problems. The Medical examiner found no physical disease, only obesity. She died from an intravenous injection and was the 35th assisted suicide.
August 20, 1996
Louise Siebens, 76, of McKinney, Texas was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. The medical examiner said she died from an injection of deadly chemicals and became the 36th assisted suicide.
August 22, 1996
Patricia Smith, 40, was from Lees Summitt, MO. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and died from an intravenous injection; The 37th assisted suicide.
August 22, 1996
Pat DiGangi, 66 of East Northport, Long Island, NY was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and kidney cancer. He died from intravenous injection and became the 38th assisted suicide.
September 2, 1996
Jack Leatherman, 73, of Knoxville, Tennessee was Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May, 96. He died from an intravenous injection; the 39th assisted suicide.
September 7, 1996
Kevorkian attended the death of Isabel Correa, 60, of Fresno, CA. She had a spinal disorder. The previous day police interrupted a meeting between Kevorkian and Correa in a motel room, confiscating the "suicide machine" and video tapes.
September 9, 1996
A bill was introduced in Australia's Parliament House of Representatives which would repeal the Northern Territory euthanasia law. The bill would make it impermissible for the Australian Territories to enact laws allowing euthanasia of assisted suicide.
September 13, 1996
Federal Judge Consuelo Marshall, in Los Angeles, struck down California's ban on assisted suicide, relying on a landmark appeals court ruling that terminally ill patients have a right under the federal Constitution to decide when and how to die. But she also held that there is no such right under the state's constitution.
September 22, 1996
Robert Dent, an Australian man with prostate cancer is the first to die under the Northern Territory law permitting voluntary euthanasia. He died by lethal injection triggered by an intravenous line hooked up to a computer, developed by Dr. Philip Nitschke.
September 26, 1996
An Ohio man was arrested outside Attorney Geoffrey Fieger's office building, he apparently was looking for Jack Kevorkian. He had guns and ammunition in his car.
September 26, 1996
Oakland Co Prosecutor Richard Thompson, filed pleadings listing charges Kevorkian could face as a result of a Sept. 6 raid on Isabel Correa's motel room.
September 28, 1996
Congressmen in Washington, DC introduced legislation that would ensure that federal funds are not used to pay for assisted suicides.
September 29, 1996
Kevorkian attends 41st assisted suicide, Dr. Richard Faw, 71, Wilson, North Carolina. He was diagnosed with colon cancer.
October 1, 1996
The U. S. Supreme Court agreed to review the assisted suicide cases of Washington v. Glucksberg and Quill v. Vacco.
October 11, 1996
Kevorkian attended 42nd assisted suicide. Wallace Spolar, 70, of El Paso, Texas. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
October 15, 1996
The U.S. Supreme Court let stand without comment a 1991 Michigan court order that bars Kevorkian from helping people commit suicide.
October 16, 1996
Kevorkian was questioned by police outside a motel room. He was apparently counseling a woman from out of state.
October 17, 1996
While Fieger was at a press conference claiming that the woman Kevorkian was meeting with the night before, was only here to talk with Kevorkian, Kevorkian was dropping off her body at a local hospital. Nancy Desoto, 55, of Bourbonnais, Ill. was the 43rd assisted suicide. She had Lou Gehrig's disease.
October 23, 1996
Kevorkian dropped off the body of Barbara Collins of Falmouth, Mass.; his 44th assisted suicide. She was 65, and had ovarian cancer, cause of death was lethal injection.
October 27, 1996
The Liberal Party of Canada, at their convention in Ottawa, passed a resolution endorsing legalizing euthanasia.
October 31, 1996
Oakland County Prosecutor Richard Thompson accused Jack Kevorkian of violating a 1991 injunction barring him from assisting in suicides. He was charged with 19 counts stemming from 10 deaths between June 20 & Sept 7, 1996. Neal Nicol and Dr. Redding were also charged with conspiring to assist and removing a body without the medical examiner's permission.
November 4, 1996
Kevorkian's attorneys confirmed that he did attend the suicide of Loretta Peabody of Ionia County. The death occurred in her home on 8/30/96. The death certificate, signed by her physician, Dr. Poff, filed 4 days later said she died of natural causes. Her body had been cremated, so there was no autopsy. The Peabody suicide came to light after authorities viewed the video tape confiscated in the Sept. 6, hotel raid in Oakland Co. This brought Kevorkian's total to 45 deaths.
November 7, 1996
Kevorkian was arraigned in Ionia County, for the assisted suicide of Loretta Peabody. The indictment handed down by Ionia Co grand jury charged him with assisting a suicide, conspiring to assist a suicide, and also faces one count of practicing medicine without a license.
Also: Janet Good was charged in Ionia County for assisting with the suicide of Loretta Peabody. She was released on $10,000 personal bond. Good has terminal pancreatic cancer, Ionia Co Prosecutor Voet said he would consider dropping the charges if presented with proof of her illness.
November 12, 1996
The Clinton administration filed briefs with the U. S. Supreme Court assisted suicide cases. The administration took the position that states have the right to ban physician assisted suicide and has asked the Supreme Court to rule that terminally ill people have no constitutional right to doctor-assisted suicide.
November 15, 1996
The Australian High Court adjourned the application for special leave to appeal from the decision of the Northern Territory Supreme Court upholding the Northern Territory's Rights of the Terminally Ill Act. The Court said that it would not hear the matter while a bill was before the Federal Parliament to override the Territory's legislation. If that bill is passed into law, there will be no NT law for the Court to rule on. The Senate will not vote on the bill until its own committee study is completed, February 24, 1997.
December 9, 1996
Australia's House of Representatives, adopted a bill to set aside the Northern Territory's euthanasia law, which went into effect in July. The national parliament can overturn laws in the territories, but not in its six states.
December 16, 1996
Dr. Ernesto Pinzon-Reyes of Highlands County, Florida has been charged with murder for giving a lethal injection of morphine and potassium chloride to a terminally ill patient in October. He pled not guilty and consulted Kevorkian's Attorney Geoffrey Fieger. The patient had not asked to die and the family did not want an assisted suicide. The nurses refused to inject the dose of morphine, so the doctor did the injecting.
January 02, 1997
Janet Mills, 52, of Australia is the second person to use the Northern Territory euthanasia law in Australia. She was supervised by Dr. Phillip Nitschke, as she self-administered the drugs that killed her. She had a rare form of skin cancer-mycosis fungoides.
January 11, 1997
Oakland Co Prosecutor Gorcyca dropped charges against Jack Kevorkian in the assisted suicide deaths of 10 people whom he assisted. Prosecutor Gorcyca said that putting Kevorkian on trial would be a waste of time and money.
January 20, 1997
A 69 year old man became the third person to use the Northern Territory "Rights of the Terminally Ill Act". The only detail released was that he had stomach cancer.
January 21, 1997
Dutch justice Winnie Sordrager said that the government will no longer require that reported euthanasia cases be referred to public prosecutors; instead they will be reviewed by independent committees of "medical, legal and ethical experts," allowing for what Sordrager called " a more nuanced assessment" of whether euthanasia was justified. Only cases they deem questionable will go to a prosecutor.
January 31, 1997
Palm Beach, FL, Circuit Judge Joseph Davis ruled that a doctor can aid a man dying of AIDS to commit suicide and not be prosecuted. He said his ruling only applies to Charles Hall, the last survivor of a lawsuit filed a year ago by three terminally ill patients. Judge Davis ruled that Hall "has a constitutional right to decide to terminate his suffering and determine the time and manner of his death." He also issued an order forbidding the Palm Beach County State Attorney from filing criminal charges against Hall's physician, Dr. Cecil McIver, or anyone else who helps in his suicide.
February 4, 1997
Shortly after midnight, the body of Lisa Lansing, 42, of Florham, NJ was brought to a Pontiac hospital by a friend. Two hours later the body of Elaine Day, 79, of Santa Clarita, CA was found in the back of Kevorkian's van parked outside the medical examiners office. Both women died by lethal injections. Lansing had severe abdominal pain, Day is believed to have had Lou Gherig's disease, neither patient was terminal.
February 7, 1997
The Canadian Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for Robert Latimer (convicted of killing his 12 year old daughter in November 1993) because of a breach of procedure during the first trial. The police had interviewed the prospective jurors privately, asking them questions regarding religion, abortion, and euthanasia. Five of the them were picked for the jury.
February 27, 1997
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled 3-0 to dismiss the challenge to Oregon's law that allows physician assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. Judge Melvin Brunetti wrote in the opinion, that those who brought the suit against the law cannot show they face an "immediate threat of harm."
March 2 or 3, 1997
A 70 year old woman from Sydney, Australia, became the 4th person to use the Northern Territory's Assisted suicide law. Dr Phillip Nitschke assisted her death by lethal injection. Her family requested that no other details be given.
The body of Helen Livengood, 59, of Richmond VA, was found in a Romulus, MI hotel room. There was a note by the bed which said to call Geoffrey Fieger, her attorney. Fieger rejected all requests to talk to Kevorkian or her family. She had chronic arthritis.
March 19, 1997
The body of Albert Buddy Miley, 43, of Warminster PA, was found dead in a Livonia, MI motel. There was a note in the room telling authorities to contact his attorney, Geoffrey Fieger. Mr. Miley was a quadriplegic.
March 20, 1997
U.S. House Commerce Committee approved a bill, HR 1003, that would prohibit assisted suicide payments for people on Medicare, Medicaid and other federal programs. It passed 44-2.
March 24, 1997
The body of Janette Knowles, 75, of Norfolk, Nebraska, was found at a motel, in Warren, MI. A security guard checked the room after receiving an anonymous phone call. A note left in the room gave instructions to call her attorney, Geoffrey Fieger. She had Lou Gehrig's disease.
March 25, 1997
Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dr. Shippe Schat was charged with murder in a patient's death. Last April Dora Brattinga, 72 year old cancer patient died from a fatal dose of insulin. Dr. Schat says that she requested the injection. He did not follow any of the government-approved guidelines, such as a written request or a second opinion. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, the family and friends of the victim support his actions. The three-judge panel should reach a verdict in two weeks.
March 25, 1997
Australia--Legislation to overturn the world's first euthanasia laws passed the Senate by a vote of 38-33, over riding the Northern Territory law.
April 4, 1997
Jack Kevorkian was issued a "cease and desist' order to stop holding himself out as a physician from the Michigan Dept. of Consumer and Industry Services. The department, which regulates physicians, said he had 30 days in which to challenge the order. Kevorkian's response was to light the order with a cigarette lighter in front of news cameras. The order only applies to future assisted suicides.
April 8, 1997
Dutch Dr. Shippe Schat was set free, with a six month suspended sentence for his violations of the euthanasia guidelines.
April 9, 1997
The body of Heidi Aseltine, 27 of Indianapolis, IN, was found in a motel room in Romulus, MI. She had AIDS. A note instructed police to contact her lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger. Ms. Aseltine was a former resident of Holt, MI.
April 10, 1997
The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act H.R. 1003 by a vote of 398-16.
April 16, 1997
The U.S. Senate approved H. R. 1003 by a vote of 99-0.
April 23, 1997
The Family Law subcommittee of the Oregon state legislature approved H.B. 2954, a proposal to place Measure 16 back on the ballot.
April 27, 1997
The Oregon Medical Association's House of Delagates voted to oppose Measure 16, reason being "the Measure is seriously flawed."
April 30, 1997
President Clinton signed the Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act into law.
May 04, 1997
The body of Delouise Bacher, 63, of Arvada, Co was found in a motel room in Michigan. A note to contact her lawyer Geffrey Fieger was found. She had multiple sclerosis.
May 13, 1997
Oregon's House of Representatives voted to repeal Ballot Measure 16, by a vote of 32-26.
June 09, 1997
The Oregon Senate voted 20-10 to give the voters a chance to repeal the state ballot Measure 16. This is the first time in Oregon history that the legislature ordered a repeat election on an inititative that voters had already approved.
June 11, 1997
The trial of Jack Kevorkian began and ended in Ionia, MI. Geoffrey Fieger, during his opening statements accused Prosecutor Ray Voet of a "witch hunt," he attempted to make the jury doubt the legitimacy of the ban on assisted suicide; and also made reference that the prosecutor and his assistant, Mike Modelski conspired to alter evidence.
Later in the day Judge Charles Miel declared a mistrial.
June 12, 1997
Ionia Prosecutor Ray Voet asked Judge Miel to declare a mistrial based on the fact the jury was now tainted because of the things Fieger's opening statement.
June 26, 1997
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the assisted suicide cases from New York and Washington state. The judges unanimously ruled that their is no "constitutional right to assisted suicide." The court left it up to individual states to pass laws regarding assisted suicide.
June 26, 1997
The body of Janis Murphy, 40, of Henderson, Nevada was found in a Southfield, Michigan motel. A note was found telling authorities to contact her lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger.
July 2, 1997
The bodies of two women were found in Wayne and Macomb county motel rooms. Dorinda Scheipsmeier, 51, of Oceanside, CA, and Lynne Lennox, 54, of Lakewood, NJ, both had multiple sclerosis. Notes were found directing police to contact Geoffrey Fieger, their attorney.
July 17, 1997
The Florida Supreme Court ruled that a person does not have the right to physician-assisted suicide under the Florida state constitution. They overturned a lower court's ruling that a privacy provision in Florida's state constitution gives a right to physician-assisted suicide.
July 20, 1997
Dr Michael Irwin of England, has admitted helping at least 50 people to die. In more than half of the cases he has personally injected a lethal dose of morphine. He also admitted to suppling a plastic bag for two of the people. The family physicians of all the patients were not aware of the cause of death and recorded them as natural deaths. In England, it is against the law to give someone a lethal dose with the intention of killing them. Dr Irwin faces prison for up to 14 years if convicted. Currently no charges have been brought against him.
July 22, 1997
Michigan--Merian's Friends launched their initiative to get physician-assisted death on the ballot. The group needs to collect 247,129 valid signatures during the next 180 days.
August 13, 1997
Jack Kevorkian acknowledged assisting in the death of Karen Shoffstall, 34, of Long Beach , NY. She had recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Her body was found in Farmington Hills, MI. She died from an injection.
August 26, 1997
Kevorkian colleague, Janet Good, 73, Farmington Hills, died from an assisted suicide. It is not known for sure whether Jack Kevorkian assisted in her death. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, two years ago. She died from an injection of poison.
August 29, 1997
The body of Thomas Summerlee, 55, was found in an Farmington Hills, MI motel room. He was from Colorado. A note was found directing authorities to Geoffrey Fieger, his attorney. He had multiple sclerosis.
September 03, 1997
The body of Carol Fox, 54, of Pennsylvania, was found in a Bloomfield Township motel. Kevorkian has admitted assisting in her suicide. She had ovarian cancer and died from an injection of a poison.
September 07, 1997
The body of Deborah Sickels, 43, of Arlington, TX was found in a Romulus motel room. She had multiple sclerosis. Her family members said she was emotionally unstable. Kevorkian admitted assisting in her suicide.
September 20, 1997
The body of Natverlal Thakore, 78 of British Columbia was found in a Bloomfield Twp. MI motel. A letter written by Mr. Thakore was faxed to a local radio station by attorney Geoffrey Fieger. Mr. Thakore had Parkinson's disease.
September 29, 1997
Kari Miller's body was found in a Detroit area motel, she was from Colorado, 54 years old, diagnosed with MS. A note was faxed to an area radio station from Fieger's office alerting them that the body was in the motel.
October 3, 1997
The body of John Zdanowicz, 50 of Berwyn, IL was found in a Livonia motel. A note was found indicating the he was a patient of Jack Kevorkians' and to contact his Lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger. Mr. Zdanowicz was diagnosed with ALS.
October 8, 1997
Lois Caswell's body was found in a Detroit area motel. She was 65, from Kentucky, and had chronic pain syndrome. She died from in intravenous injection.
October 13, 1997
Kevorkian assisted in the death of Annette Blackman, 34, Presque Ile, MI. She had MS
October 14, 1997
The U S Supreme Court decided to refuse to hear an appeal from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Lee v. Harcleroad. This was the case that has prevented the 1994 Oregon Law on assisted suicide from taking effect.
October 23, 1997
Jack Kevorkian announced that he will begin harvesting organs and doing lethal experiments on the bodies of his assisted suicide clients.
October 30, 1997
The body of John J. O'Hara, 54, of New York City was found in a Detroit area motel. He was a stroke victim, but not terminally ill. A note was found indicating he was a patient of Kevorkian.
November 4, 1997
Oregon's Measure 51failed the repeal effort by a margin of 60 to 40 percent The law may not be able to take immediate effect, because of the Supreme Court's decision not to hear the appeal.
November 5, 1997
Thomas Constantine, DEA Administrator, concluded that "delivering, dispensing or prescribing a controlled substance with the intent of assisting a suicide would not be under any current definition of a 'legitimate medical purpose'" and thus would violate the Controlled Substance Act. He had been asked by Sen. Hatch and Cong. Hyde to give them his view on assisted suicide as a legitimate medical practice.
November 14, 1997
The body of Nadia Foldes,74, of Vermont was dropped off at a Detroit hospital by Jack Kevorkian. She had pancreatic cancer. Geoffrey Fieger alleged that the assisted suicide was held in an area Roman Catholic Church.
November 21, 1997
Kevorkian dropped off the body of Naomi Sachs, 84, of New York. She had osteoporosis. Later in the evening, police found the body of Bernice Gross, 78 of West Palm Beach, FL in a Detroit area hotel room. A note was found to contact Kevorkian's attorney. She had multiple sclerosis.
Norwegian doctor, Christian Sandsdalen. Due to numerous "mitigating circumstances," the court has indefinitely postponed sentencing. He gave a 45 year-old multiple sclerosis patient a lethal injection.
The Robert Latimer trial which began Oct.27, ended in a guilty verdict, which brings a mandatory life sentence without chance of parole for ten years. Claiming this punishment would be "cruel and unusual" under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Justice Ted Noble commuted the sentence to one year in prison and one year probation on his farm.
December 3, 1997
Hemlock Society USA declared its support for legalizing non-voluntary euthanasia for mentally incompetent patients who never requested death.
December 3, 1997
The body of Martha Wichorek, 82, of Detroit, was found in her home. The suicide was assisted by Dr. Georges Reding, Kevorkian's assistant. She suffered from no apparent illness; from a statement she left, she said " I am 82 years old and want to die".
December 3, 1997
The Michigan Senate approved a new ban on assisted suicide, 28-7. SB200 would make assisting in a suicide a felony punishable by four years in jail and a fine of $2000.
December 10, 1997
The British parliament rejected the "Doctor-Assisted Dying Bill" for terminally ill patients. The vote was 234-89.
December 11, 1997
The body of Rosalind Haas, 59, of Westminister, CA, was found in a Romulus, MI hotel room. She had breast cancer and died from a lethal injection.
December 16, 1997
The body of Margaret Weilhart of Oceanside, CA was found in an Allen Park, MI hotel room. She was a stroke victim, partially paralyzed. Also the body of Cheri Trimble, 46, of Iowa City, IO, was dropped off at a Pontiac hospital.
December 22, 1997
Canadian officials announced that they will appeal the sentence given to Robert Latimer. Also, Toronto Dr. Maurice Genereux pled guilty to two counts of assisting a suicide. He is the first Canadian doctor to be convicted of this crime.
December 27, 1997
Franz-Johann Long, 53, of Bethlehem, PA died in the presence of Jack Kevorkian. His family said he had been mentally ill for many years. Also the body of Mary Langford, 73, Tampa, FL was dropped off at an Oakland Co. hospital by Kevorkian and Reding.
January 7, 1998
The body of Nancy Rush,81, of Saline, MI was taken to a Oakland County hospital by Kevorkian and Dr Reding. She had lung cancer.
January 18, 1998
The body of Carrie Hunter, 35, San Francisco, CA was found in a Pontiac Hotel. A note was found from Kevorkian. She had AIDS and was a trans-sexual; died from a lethal injection.
February 4, 1998
The body of Jeremy Allen, 52, of Cambridge, Mass. was taken to St Joseph Mercy Hospital by Kevorkian. He had cancer.
February 23, 1998
The body of Murial Clement, 76, of North Branford, Conn. was taken to Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI by Kevorkian. She had Parkinson's Disease.
February 26, 1998
The body of Roosevelt Dawson, 21, Southfield, MI was found in an apartment in Southfield. He was a paraplegic and had been released from a Grand Rapids nursing home, who tried to get a court order to hold him involuntarily, but was refused. Kevorkian only had a few minutes of conversation with Mr. Dawson before he assisted in his suicide.
February 26, 1998
Oregon Health Services Commission voted 10-1 to add assisted suicide to the priority list of treatments provided to Medicaid patients under Oregon's Health Plan. Lethal drugs will be part of "comfort care" services.
March 05, 1998
Jack Kevorkian dropped off two bodies within two hours of each other. The first was that of William Connaughton, 42, of Boston, Mass. He had a muscle disorder, fibromyalgia. The second body was that of Patricia Greyham, 61, of Roanoke, VA, she had rheumatoid arthritis. Both died from a lethal injection.
March, 13, 1998
Waldo Herman, 66, of Detroit died in his home with the help of Jack Kevorkian. Mr. Herman had lung cancer.
March 25, 1998
It was reported that Oregon's first use of doctor assisted suicide occurred. Compassion in Dying found a physician willing to assist in the suicide because the patient's physician as well as a second doctor both concluded she was depressed and they were therefore unwilling to assist in her suicide. Her status as the first person was questioned by an unidentified relative of another woman who claims her relative was assisted before March 25th. The Hemlock Society provided the physician because the family did not want any publicity.
March 27, 1998
Jack Kevorkian delivered the body of Mary Judith Kranner, 67, of Southfield, MI to an area hospital. She had Huntington's disease.
March 30, 1998
Burial finally held for Jeremy Allen, one of Kevorkian's victim, whose body remained unclaimed for nearly two months. A group from Massachuetts claimed the body and held a funeral.
April, 8, 1998
The body of Shala Semino 46, Phoenix, AZ was taken to a Huron Valley Hosp. by Jack Kevorkian. The hospital refused to accept the body due to a new policy. The police picked up the body. She had ALS and died from a lethal injection.
April 13, 1998
The body of Dixie Wilson, 64, MO, was delivered to an area Pontiac hospital by Jack Kevorkian . . . A note indicated she had ALS and all inquires were directed to Geoffrey Fieger. She died from a lethal injection.
April 16, 1998
The bodies of Priscilla Hiles, 73, of Oceanside, CA and Jack Schenburn, 89, of Grosse Pointe Park, MI were taken to separate Oakland county hospitals by Jack Kevorkian. Hiles had several non-terminal diseases, Schenburn had prostrate cancer. Both died from lethal injections.
April 24, 1998
The body of Lucille Alderman, 86, of Rochester Hills, MI was taken to a Rochester Hills hospital. She was the first to die from cyanide poisoning. She had a heart condition and a degenerative joint condition.
May 7, 1998
Jack Kevorkian and Dr. Reding were arrested while they delivered the body of Matthew Johnson, 26, of Aptos, CA. To a Royal Oak Hospital. Mr Johnson was a quadriplegic. A scuffle ensued with Royal Oak police officers, who just happened to be at the hospital, when they began questioning Kevorkian about the dead body in his car. Kevorkian and Reding spent the night in jail upon refusing to post $200 bond. They entered "not guilty" pleas for resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. A June 2, pre-trial hearing was set.
May 13, 1998
The first Canadian doctor, to be charged with assisting a suicide, was sentenced to two years in prison. Dr. Maurice Genereux's attorney said he would appeal. He also lost his medical license when first charged in March.
May 19, 1998
Emma Kassa, 68, of Xenio, Ohio died with Jack Kevorkian's assistance. She had lung cancer.
May 27, 1998
Merian's Friends met the deadline for turning in signatures for the November 3, election. Citizens for Compassionate Care launched a campaign to invalidate as many signatures as possible.
June 5, 1998
A.G. Janet Reno issued her determination on whether Oregon's DWDA was in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act. She said that the law permitting doctors to prescribe lethal drugs does not violate the federal law.
June 7, 1988
Joseph Tushkowski, 45, Las Vegas, Nevada, died with Jack Kevorkian's assistance. Kevorkian began a new phase in his assisted suicide crusade by harvesting the kidneys from the body. The medical examiner said the body had been mutilated, the kidneys were not accepted for donation. Mr Tushkowski was a quadriplegic.
June 7, 1998
In response to the Reno ruling on Oregon, Reps. Hyde & Oberstar introduced a house bill to amend the federal Controlled Substance Act. It specifically prohibits physician-assisted suicide, through prescribing federally regulated drugs.
June 9, 1998
A Hawaiian 18-member panel released a report recommending that Hawaii legalize euthanasia. They completed 18 months of hearings and debates and concluded that individuals should have the choice to end their lives, either by their hand or their doctor's.
June 30, 1998
Royal Oak City attorneys charged that Kevorkian violated a state law against mutilating a corpse, and asked a judge to revoke his bond or revise its conditions to prohibit organ harvesting.
July 9, 1998
The Judge did modify Kevorkian's conditions, so that if he assists in a suicide he can be jailed.
July 16, 1998
The Michigan Dept. of Consumer & Industry Services served Kevorkian with a subpoena demanding his records on 42 patients he "treated" since their Cease and Desist Order from April 1997. He refused to turn over the records.
July 20, 1998
The Board of Canvassers of the Michigan Elections Bureau voted 4-0 to certify the Merian's Friends signatures were turned in. Of the 379,813 signatures turned in, only 261,455 were valid, but enough to get the initiative on the ballot.
July 22, 1998
Federal bills HR 4006, and S2151 (the bills to clarify the Controlled Substance Act) were being acted upon. The house bill passed the House Judiciary SubCommittee 6-5 with amendments. It was expected to be voted on by the full House Judiciary Committee in August. The Senate bill was also expected to be voted on in August.
July 27, 1998
The Hemlock Society issued a press release calling for the legalization of assisted suicide for persons with "incurable" conditions.
August 4, 1998
The House Judiciary Committee approved HR4006. The House Commerce Committee was next to consider the bill.
August 24, 1998
The Michigan State Board of Canvassers unanimously approved final language for the assisted suicide measure on the Nov. 3 ballot. "Initiated Legislation to legalize the prescription of a lethal dose of medication to terminally ill, competent, informed adults in order to commit suicide"; assigned Proposal B.
September 22, 1998
U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan reluctantly denied a request by terminally ill plaintiffs to renew a challenge to Oregon's physician assisted suicide law. (Lee v. Oregon)
October 14, 1998
New York veterinarian, Marco Zancope was arraigned for second degree manslaughter. He admitted to administering a lethal dose of pentobarbital, (drug used to euthanize animals) to a friend Cara Beigel, 33. She was a breast cancer patient.
October 15, 1998
The World Federation of Right-to-Die Societies issued the "Zurich Declaration", stating that people,"suffering severe and enduring distress (should be eligible) to receive medical help to die."
November 3, 1998
Michigan voters defeated Proposal B with a resounding victory, 71% to 29%. The victory was credited to educating voters on what was really in the proposal.
November 4, 1998
A jury convicted Jack Kevorkian of two misdemeanor charges, interfering with police and resisting arrest. He was sentenced to pay $700.00 fine and $200.00 court costs. Kevorkian was under bond orders not to assist in any suicides or to break any other laws.
November 22, 1998
CBS's 60 minutes aired a tape in which Jack Kevorkian was shown injecting Tom Youk, 52, of Watertown Twp., MI with several substances aimed at killing him. Mr. Youk had ALS. Kevorkian's plan was to push his agenda to allow for active assistance in killing those people who request it. After the airing Oakland Co Prosecuter David Gorcyca subpoenaed the tape from CBS. The death actually took place on September 17, 1998.
November 23, 1998
An appeals court in Saskatchewan, Canada reversed the lenient sentence given to Robert Latimer, who was convicted of killing his 12-year-old daughter who was handicapped with cerebral palsy. The unanimous decision ruled that Latimer must serve a life sentence with the chance of parole after ten years. He will appeal to the Canadian Supreme Court.
November 23, 1998
The Oregon Health Services Commission made the decision to cover assisted suicide under the Oregon Health Plan beginning on December 1, 1998.
November 25, 1998
Kevorkian was charged with three felony counts: first-degree murder, assisting a suicide, and delivering a controlled substance without a medical license in the TV death of Thomas Youk. He remained free on a $750,000 personal bond. A December 9 pre-trial hearing was set.
November 27, 1998
Australian Physician Philip Nitschke admitted that he had assisted in 20 suicides, all were video-taped just before death, but not the process of dying. The Australian Medical Association urged authorities to begin an investigation.
December 09, 1998
Judge Phyliss McMillen ordered Kevorkian to stand trial on the three charges against him.
December 17, 1998
Judge Jessica Cooper set the date for Kevorkian's trial- March 1, 1999. She will be the assigned judge. She presided over one of Kevorkian's previous trials, where he was acquitted.
December 24, 1998
The Michigan Department of Consumer & Industry Services announced that they will go forward in January to enforce the cease-and-desist order given to Jack Kevorkian in April of 1997. They plan to go into Ingham County Circuit Court and asked the judge to enforce the order.
January 07, 1999
Wayne County Circuit Judge Sharon Finch denied the American Medical Assn. and the Michigan State Medical Society's motion to dismiss a suit brought by Kevorkian in 1996. He is suing for $10 million dollars asserting that they called him a killer in some of their literature. Geoffrey Feiger is representing Kevorkian.
January 13, 1999
Gerald Klooster, Sr died in Castro Valley, CA. In 1995, his wife contacted Jack Kevorkian to help her end his life. Mr. Klooster's son stepped in and a custody battle ensued.
Researchers from the Oregon Health Division (OHD) present their first analysis of the state's first year under the Oregon Death with Dignity law. Fifteen people used the law to commit suicide. Only one patient cited fear of pain as a motive for suicide. At least one patient had to "shop" for a pro-euthanasia physician to assist after two treating physicians denied her request.
Robert Latimer appealed to the Canadian Supreme Court.
March 5, 1999
According to an informal poll by the State of Oregon, 67% of Oregon doctors who routinely treat terminally-ill patients said they would refuse to engage in assisted suicide.
March 15, 1999
Pro-euthanasia ads air on Australian TV, featured in the ad is June Burns, 59, a cancer patient and euthanasia proponent who says she wants someone to kill her. The ad was intended to be the first in a series showing the various states of Burn's deterioration. The ads were given a PG rating and shown only before 7:30 p.m.
March 16, 1999
Four elderly men have filed lawsuits petitioning for the legalization of assisted suicide in India. Legal experts say that the suits highlight the fact that the elderly are increasingly being neglected and abandoned.
March 26, 1999
The jury for the trial on Jack Kevorkian found him unanimously guilty of second-degree murder of Thomas Youk and delivery of a controlled substance.
April 16, 1999
British doctor, David Moor, was acquitted of murdering his patient, George Liddell, 85.
April 27, 1999
Dr. Philip Nitschke, often referred to as Australia's Dr. Death, held the first ever three-day Euthanasia Advisory Clinic in Melbourne. He dispensed information on lethal drugs and ways to obtain them.
May 6, 1999
The Canadian Supreme Court announced it will hear an appeal of Robert Latimer, convicted of second degree murder of his disabled daughter.
The Pain Relief Promotion Act of 1999 was introduced in Washington to promote aggressive pain management while outlawing the use of controlled substances for assisted suicide and euthanasia. The bills have gained support from groups such as the American Medical Association (AMA) and the National Hospice Organization (NHO).
September 9, 1999
A lawsuit filed in the Alaska Supreme Court to create a state constitutional 'right' to assisted suicide failed. The ruling has been appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court and oral arguments are expected in the year 2000.
Family of Donna Brennan, 54, a woman with multiple sclerosis, files wrongful death lawsuit against Georges Reding.
Kevorkian's motion for a re-trial is rejected.
August 11, 1999
The government in Amsterdam, Netherlands published plans legalizing mercy killing under guidelines that are expected to gain approval in 2000.
August 20, 1999
Georges Reding, Jack Kevorkian's associate, was indicted of a charge of first degree murder in the August 1998 death of Donna Brennan, a New Mexico woman with multiple sclerosis.
September 03, 1999
Dr. Georges Reding failed to appear at his arraignment on a murder charge. The judge immediately issued a warrant for his arrest. No attorney appeared on Reding's behalf, and his whereabouts are unknown.
September 20, 1999
Switzerland is the only country that permits non-doctors to assist in suicides. A pro-euthanasia organization called Exit, headed by a retired pastor, admitted helping kill 120 people last year via overdose of barbiturates and sent manuals to hundreds more with advice on how to die.
In Saginaw, Michigan, a critical care nurse is suspected of giving a lethal injection to at least one dying patient last year. And in Indiana, the trial of nurse Orville Lynn Majors ended with convictions on six counts of murder. Majors was accused of giving fatal doses of potassium chloride to seven patients.
October 16, 1999
Oregon's "safeguards" against abuse may have failed after a recent assisted suicide case where an 85-year-old woman with cancer and early-stage dementia was given a lethal overdose. The woman's daughter shopped around for physicians until she found one that would conclude her mother was competent to choose death.
December 15, 1999
Japan may ban a suicide book which some groups feel glamorizes suicide and may attribute to this year's 35-percent rise in suicides. Japan has one of the highest rates in the world for suicide, with an 85-percent increase in the number of young people who killed themselves. The Complete Manual of Suicide has sold 1.2 million copies.
December 24, 1999
A draft bill that would give Belguim, one of the world's most pro-assisted suicide policies, is expected to become law by June 2000. The bill would put Belguim law on a par with legislation in the state of Oregon. Euthanasia is widely practiced in Belgian hospitals already but fortunately doctors can be prosecuted under the current penal code.
October 27, 1999
The U. S. House of Representatives passed the Pain Relief Promotion Act by a vote of 271 to 156. The PRPA would amend the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 to establish that aggressive pain management is a "legitimate medical purpose" for the use of drugs regulated under the CSA. It will also allocate $5 million for pain control and research grants. The bill prohibits federally controlled drugs to be used to intentionally end patients' lives, which would almost completely curtail legally-allowed assisted suicide in Oregon.
December 7, 1999
Age Concern, a British charity called for a government inquiry into claims that health officials are practicing "involuntary euthanasia" on elderly patients in an attempt to free up beds in hospitals. Police are investigating 60 deaths in hospitals whose patients were allegedly denied water and food by staff. Age Concern has documented evidence that health services discriminate against older patients. A government health minister said the claims were not founded.
November 7, 2000
Maine voted on a proposal that would have allowed doctors to legally assist people in killing themselves. The proposal was defeated by a vote of 330,831 to 313,454, or 51-49%.
February 4, 2000
The New Hampshire Senate overwhelmingly defeated SB 44, by a vote of 22-2. This was a bill based on the Oregon Physician Assisted Suicide bill.
February 24, 2000
A new study from the Netherlands shows that "complications" occurred in 7% of 649 cases of assisted suicide. It also found that 16% of the cases had "problems with completion" (delays of hours to days before death occurred).
February 24, 2000
Twenty-seven terminally ill Oregonians used the nation's only assisted suicide law to end their lives, in 1999. It was an increase of 11 over 1998.
March 7, 2000
Less than 2 days after Derek Humphrey's video Final Exit was aired on a Hawaiian public access station, 2 suicide victims ended up in the Honolulu medical examiners office. Both victims used the same plastic bag method touted by Humphrey in his video. Suicide-by-asphyxiation is not that common in Hawaii, and that made the medical examiner suspicious of the deaths. Neither victim was terminally ill, and both had a history of depression.
March 17, 2000
Australia: Dr. Phillip Nitschke, euthanasia advocate, was granted permission to establish "death advice clinics" in the state of Tasmania. He already has 8 terminally ill patients lined up to take advantage of his services. Since "advising, counseling, or assisting" persons in assisted suicide in Australia is illegal, he says he can offer advice on how to attain a "peaceful escape" without actually assisting in the patients suicide.
April 27, 2000
The U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Pain Relief Promotion Act by a vote of 10-8. The Senate slightly amended the PRPA, to accommodate concerns by the American Medical Association. The new version maintains state authority over medical practice and establishes the "clear and convincing evidence" standard in cases where a doctor is thought to have used controlled substances for assisted suicide.
May 22, 2000
The European Patent Office in Germany has amended a previously granted patent for a "euthanasia cocktail" to be used on animals only and excludes humans. The original patent was granted in 1996 to MSU, but due to protests from several organizations it was amended.
June 9, 2000
The Colorado Court of Appeals has upheld the state's law banning assisted suicide.
June 14, 2000
Canadian Supreme Court heard the appeal of Robert Latimer. Decision to be announced.
July 10, 2000
A Utah psychiatrist, Robert Weitzel, accused of killing 5 elderly patients by prescribing fatal doses of morphine was convicted of manslaughter and negligent homicide. He faces from 2-45 years in prison. He also faces federal charges in Utah on 22 counts of prescription fraud, and has lost his medical license.
July 10, 2000
The Dutch government resubmitted a proposal to formally legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia without a provision to allow euthanasia for children as young as 12.
July 10, 2000
A French medical clinic, run by the French national health service is under investigation for murder following allegations by nurses that doctors routinely dispense the "cocktail of death" to the old and dying, killing between 20 and 40 patients. Several nurses have come forward to make the allegations.
July 14, 2000
The Dutch government has again decided to withdraw the proposal that would have allowed children to request and receive euthanasia without parental consent. The newly amended provision still allows children to be euthanized, but requires parental consent.
August 25, 2000
Judge Jessica Cooper denied Jack Kevorkian his third request for release from prison. He sought release on bond pending his appeal on the grounds that he has high blood pressure and prison threatens his health. His attorneys say they will appeal the decision.
October 29, 2000
The city of Zurich, Switzerland issued a directive sanctioning assisted suicide for the elderly living in elder care homes. The patients must request the assistance.
November 7, 2000
Maine voters defeated the ballot measure, Maine Death With Dignity Act, to legalize assisted suicide, with a vote of 51% to 49%.
November 14, 2000
The Alaska Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Sampson & Doe v. State of Alaska, suit challenging Alaska's assisted suicide ban. A ruling is expected in about six months.
November 24, 2000
A recent survey conducted by researchers from the Free University Brussels and Ghent University found that one in ten doctors actively end patients lives. During a one year period, they found that three in every 100 deaths, patients had been given lethal injections without their permission. Also in 5.8% of the cases treatment was withheld for the purpose of ending the patient's life.
November 28, 2000
The Dutch Parliament's Lower House passed a bill, by a vote of 104-40, to officially make euthanasia and assisted suicide legal under certain conditions.
January 15, 2001
The Belgian senate voted on one key article of the draft proposal to legalize euthanasia, the vote was 17-10. It took a year to pass this article, there are 12 articles in the proposal
This article not only applies to terminally ill patients, but those who are incurably ill with several years left to live.
January 18, 2001
Canadian Supreme Court upholds sentence of 25 years, with 10 year minimum before parole eligibility of Robert Latimer.
February 21, 2001
The Oregon Health Division released the annual report on the practice of physician assisted suicide for 2000. 27 patients died from the drugs given by doctors. There were actually 39 prescriptions handed out and as of Dec. 31, 2000, 26 had used the drugs, eight died from their illness and five were still alive. One death was from a prescription dispensed in late 1999.
Kevorkian patients not "Terminally Ill". In a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, it reports on an analysis of 69 patients who were assisted by Jack Kevorkian. Only 17 of them were found to be terminally ill. The remaining 52 had a recent decline in health, but were not terminal. Almost 3/4's were women, most of whom were divorced or never married. In five of the cases autopsies were unable to confirm any disease at all.
March 3, 2001
Dutch practitioner Wilfred van Oijen was found guilty of murder in the death of an 84 year-old patient who specifically did not authorize euthanasia. Like all the other cases of euthanasia, the court handed down no penalty. It ruled that van Oijen simply made a "error in judgement" and that he acted "honorably and according to his conscience." He gave the patient an injection of alloferine, which is not considered an euthanasia drug.
March 26, 2001
Kristen Gilbert a VA hospital nurse gets life in prison for injecting four patients with a heart stimulant, killing them.
April 10, 2001
The Dutch Parliament's upper house gave final approval to a bill formalizing active euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. This makes the Netherlands the first nation in the world to enact such legislation.
April 23, 2001
The Michigan Supreme Court ended Jack Kevorkian's libel suit against the American Medical Association by allowing the appellate court decision to stand.
August 7, 2001
The American college of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) issued a strong statement in opposition to physician-assisted suicide.
August 8, 2001
California Supreme Court issued a ruling in favor of protecting vulnerable, conscious conservatees. The ruling was too late for Robert Wendland (for whom the case was brought to the courts), he died 3 weeks earlier from pneumonia.
September 21, 2001
The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the state's constitution did not guarantee a right to Assisted Suicide. The ruling upheld an earlier ruiling by Supreme Court Judge Eric Sanders.
October 25, 2001
The Belgian Senate approved a bill that would allow terminally ill patients to seek a physician to aid in ending their lives. The bill now has to go the house where it is expected to pass. Belgium will become the second country in Europe to pass a law legalizing assisted suicide.
November 7 2001
U. S. Attorney General Ashcroft issued a directive stopping physicians from prescribing federally controlled drugs to help end lives of terminally ill patients.
November 8, 2001
The state of Oregon filed a suit against the U.S. government to block the directive issued by Attorney General Ashcroft. U. S. District Court Judge Jones issued a temporary restraining order, indicating he would rule in mid April, 2002.
February 7, 2002
Six fewer terminally ill patients used Oregon's assisted suicide law in 2001than in the two previous years.. Twenty - one patients took their lives under the law. A total of 91 have used the law since 1998.
On 2/23/02 a Hawaii House vote passed 8-1 to legalize Hawaii's version of legalizing Assisted Suicide. A few days later the Senate's Health & Human Services Committee voted the bill down.
March 24, 2002
Judge Robert Jones heard arguments regarding the suit Oregon filed against Attorney General Ashcroft's directive on the use of federally controlled drugs used in assisting suicides.
April 01, 2002
The Netherlands became the first country to officially legalize euthanasia. The law allows people experiencing unbearable pain to request euthanasia. Doctors who aid in the mercy killings are free from prosecution, provided they have followed the strict procedures.
April 10, 2002
Lansing, Michigan: A bizarre assisted suicide attempt by two Lansing 19 year olds came to light when a woman was found wandering in a field. Her husband was found dead in the basement of an abandoned nearby house. The mother of the man has been arrested on two counts of assisting in a suicide. She supplied the drugs, drove them to the house and left them knowing what they were planning to do. If convicted she would be the first person since Dr. Kevorkian to be charged under the Michigan assisted suicide law.
April 18, 2002
Judge Jones issued his ruling in the Oregon suit. He said that the federal government does not have the authority to overturn Oregon's Assisted Suicide law.
April 29, 2002
The European Court of Human Rights upheld Great Britain's High Court and the House of Lords ruling against Diane Pretty's claim that Great Britain's law against assisted suicide violated her basic human rights.
May 02, 2002
The Hawaii Senate narrowly defeated the "Death with Dignity Act" by a vote of 14-11.
May 12, 2002
Less than two weeks after the ruling, Diane Pretty died in a hospital close to her home. She was admitted for breathing problems, was stabilized for a few days, then slipped into a coma and died on May 11. Her physician said she died a peaceful, perfectly normal death.
May 16, 2002
The Belgium House passed the Assisted Suicide law 86-51, making it the second country to legalize Physician Assisted Suicide.
May 22, 2002
Australia: Nancy Crick, 69, killed herself with barbiturates, surrounded by 21 friends and family. The autopsy showed no signs of reoccurrence of the bowel cancer which was surgically removed several months prior. She still complained of the symptoms of cancer. Exit spokesman, John Edge said the point that the autopsy showed no cancer was " academic" because the euthanasia campaigners wanted euthanasia to be legalized for the "hopelessly ill" not "terminally ill." An investigation has been ordered to determine Dr. Nitschke's role in the death.
May 22, 2002
The Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill giving authority to the State Medical Board, the Board of Nursing, and the Respiratory Care Board to discipline care providers who participate in assisting suicides. The bill also allows for a Compassionate Task Force to study terminal illness and chronic pain. The bill passed 83-7. It now goes to the Senate.
May 23, 2002
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that one in five Dutch patients with ALS opt to die from either assisted suicide or euthanasia. The study included 203 ALS patients who died from 1994 to 1999. 17% chose euthanasia (doctor administered drugs); 3% physician assisted suicide (physician provided drugs, patient took them). Those who chose euthanasia were significantly more disabled.
September 30, 2002
Legislators on the island of Guernsey, a British Territory in the English Channel, voted to launch a study into legalizing assisted suicide. The vote was more than 2-1 in favor. This is the first step in legalizing assisted suicide. British groups on both sides of the issue said they would watch the developments closely.
Back to 1937-1994
Back to top of page