'Dr. Death's' surprising legacy

In a 1991 photo, Dr. Jack Kevorkian shows

In a 1991 photo, Dr. Jack Kevorkian shows his "suicide machine." Photo Credit: AP, 1991

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"Dr. Death" died peacefully.

The turbulent life of Jack Kevorkian, the physician who guided more than 100 "assisted suicides," ended in a hospital bed after a short illness. Kevorkian forced us to confront taboos about dying. In his final days, the choices society offered dying people were more compassionate and dignified, with more pain management and hospice care than when he started his shocking campaign two decades ago. Kevorkian was an agitator for social change, a relentless and difficult man, a lawbreaker and a provocateur. You may argue on his behalf or against him, based on your religion, your morals, your values. But he was someone the country needed to confront the essential issue we preferred to ignore. His tactics, blunt and crude, compelled us to confront how we die and how we decide to live. R.I.P.

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