Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Oh nos! Anderson Cooper better watch out or Dr. Death Kevorkian's gonna get him! This from, well what do you expect, HollywoodNews.
Beyond the brave-interviewer-whose-brother-committed-suicide-meets-killer aspect of the little post, below, I find it completely fascinating that there's no room for discussion of end of life in here anywhere. What was Kevorkian doing with those 130 people? Why did they want to die? What is suicide and why did they need Kevorkian to help them. How did he find 130 people? What is the nature of care for the terminally ill? How do we discuss futile care, chronic pain, the right to die, mental illness, and suffering in death? I know, I know, I'm asking too much from a pulp.
But sometimes it takes the exaggeration to recognize the norm. Usually we look to satire for that. Or sentimentality. As we all patiently await the April 24 premier of "You Don't Know Jack", an HBO movie starring Al Pacino as Kevorkian and Susan Sarandon, we'll have a chance to see how the media frames issues of end of life care, assisted suicide, and the, yes, renegade Jack Kevorkian. Will we see the more typical binary framing -- death is shameful and bad and to be avoided at all costs vs. death will transition you to a better place -- or will we be engaged in a substantive discussion that examines end of life care in the US today?
Oh and, I thought Fox had the first interview with Kevorkian during last summer's health care debate. The frail, seemingly-senile former inmate was trotted out as a strawman for death panels.