Al Pacino stars as Dr. Jack Kevorkian, defender of a patient’s right to die by assisted suicide. This film deals with the sensitive subject of what obligations does society owe to the terminally ill.
Pathologist, Jack Kevorkian, joined FOLCS for a screening and discussion.
Jack Kevorkian is a physician, social activist, artist, author, amateur composer, and musician. He gained worldwide recognition for his actions as the pioneer for physician-assisted suicide.
Dr. Kevorkian refers to his paintings as social, political, and medical commentaries that should provoke thought and discussion on aspects of life that may be disagreeable but are universal. “It is not art for art’s sake, so do not criticize me for the art,” says Dr. Kevorkian. “The paintings are often political commentaries. I use bright colors to get people’s attention and to try to make them think.” Several of his paintings represent the medical conditions of human suffering—fever, paralysis, and coma—that he has witnessed on a daily basis.
Although acquitted many times in the 1990s for helping end pain and suffering of patients, Dr. Kevorkian was convicted in 1999 for assisting a man with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. While in prison, Dr. Kevorkian wrote the book Amendment IX: Our Cornucopia of Rights. He is currently a free man having served 8.3 years in prison and two years of parole on a 10-25 year prison sentence.
Since his release, Dr. Kevorkian has had his book GlimmerIQs published and distributed by World Audience of New York. He has lectured at several universities, including Harvard and Nova Southeastern in Florida.
He is currently writing books, lecturing, and has resumed painting. His story has inspired two films: You Don’t Know Jack with Al Pacino and a documentary detailing his life and his run for U.S. Congress as an independent.