April 15th, 2010
06:02 PM ET

Video: Dr. Kevorkian on physician-assisted suicide

Program Not: Don't miss Anderson's interview with Dr. Kevorkian tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

Tonight, Anderson talks to Jack Kevorkian, also known as "Dr. Death," for one of his first interviews since being released from prison nearly three years ago.

Kevorkian is profiled in a new HBO movie called "You Don't Know Jack," which premieres on April 24.

The film stars Al Pacino, who plays Kevorkian, the controversial physician who assisted terminally ill patients die. Kevorkian became a controversial figure in the debate surrounding physician-assisted suicide. In the clip above, he tells Anderson about the first time he helped a patient die.

Anderson also talks to the film's director, Oscar winning Barry Levinson, as well as and Susan Sarandon and John Goodman, who star in the film. AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Big Interview
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Sandra

    I totally agree with Dr Kevorkian does. I watched my mother suffer for a year and half and it was horrible for her to die a slow and painful death. We are so merciful to our pets and have them put down so that they are not in pain. WHY CAN'T WE DO THIS FOR OUR LOVED ONES, and let them have some dignity when they die? This country and it's doctors are horrible to drain the patient and the familys of any humanity and money. I would hope that this country would really consider this. Why can't we be more humane to our loved ones? I'll never understand. Dr Kevorkian, I believe what you are doing is so right. You are not a coward....you are all for the patient.

    April 15, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
  2. jean simpson

    I completely agree with Dr Kavorkian. I am 68 and have already decided that if I ever have a terminal illness, I will definitely decide when I'm ready to go and take care of it. I DO NOT WANT TO HANG AROUND AND SUFFER and I don't want my loved ones to watch that. I believe we have the right to make that decision

    April 15, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
  3. Will Austin

    my father is a doctor and i can say one thing i know with every fiber in my being that he is the most courageous man i know and even though i disagree with Dr. Deaths comment he does have a right to think that but if he think that saving a life is a cowardly thing to do i think he should just go live under a rock and shut his mouth i am truely offended by his statement "Doctors, are cowards if they turn their back on their patients"

    April 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
  4. Darya

    if you were suffering, wouldn't you want someone to put you out of your misery? He did a good thing.

    April 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  5. Sue R --Canton,Mi

    re: Jack Kevorkian Interview,,,I had the chance to meet Jack Kevorkian back in the 90's at the Greektown Art Fair in Deroit, Mi. I also spoke with his sister for a short time. They were petitioning for assisted suicide. I signed the petition.Was in school at the time and part of my education and training was taking care of terminally ill patient's. I've had a change of heart since then .I would never sign a petition like that today. You can have dignity with death without assisted suicide.

    April 15, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
  6. LisaL -Canada

    My [adopted] mother passed away last summer. She had been living on her own for years, then one day she started bleeding from the bowel uncontrollably – she went into the hospital and never went back home. While in the hospital, she had one simple request which was denied – to be allowed to wear underwear.

    She had to decide whether or not to have exploratory bowel surgery and was advised of the risks. One night I showed up to visit to find an empty room and was told she was in ICU. I found her there and realized she had approved and undergone the surgery. She passed away a few days after that. My brother said he believed that "she booked herself in for surgery because she didn't think she would make it through" and I would have to agree with him.

    This was a refined, dignified, beautiful soft-spoken lady who prided herself on being able to live and function on her own. As soon as she entered the hospital, she insisted on having multiple copies of a legal "do not resuscitate" document placed with all of her caregivers and at each nursing station and in her patient file. I saw the look of frustration and embarrassment and pain in her eyes as nurses, doctors and sometimes students gathered in the room to take readings and learn something about catheters.

    I am not sure of my opinion of Dr. Jack at the moment, but I do know that quality of life is important.

    Looking forward to seeing the full interview.

    April 15, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  7. Bill McHenry

    I'm certain that he will be judged favorably by historians as a visionary and activist who was ahead not only of his time but also his contemporaries. Repeatedly he proved a willingness to sacrifice everything without hesitation for what he believed a just cause.

    April 15, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  8. chad

    I wont to see the whole interview with Dr. Kevorkian

    April 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  9. Annie Kate

    The opinion on physician assisted suicide has always seemed contradictory to me when compared to our position on vet assisted death for our pets when they are mortally ill and are in pain. I know a dog or cat is far different from a human but the love we feel for them is extremely similar. How can we countenance letting a human who has no chance of survival or cure stay in agony but not our pet? I don't know where I stand on the subject but I suspect that were I mortally ill I would want to take control back and at least be able to pick when to die.

    April 15, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  10. Jennifer

    Indeed Dr. Jack's decision was a real favour.. If only all doctors are doctor. Many should be questioned for their ethics and principles in this profession.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  11. Mei- Arizona

    Wow. I am really looking forward to the rest of the interview.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  12. Tamara Presti

    Kevorkian is a saint in my book. I love his attitude about death and suffering.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  13. Tamara Presti

    Kevorkian is a saint in my book. I love this attitude about death and suffering.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  14. ELLE

    dont you think helping people to die is a sin. why do want to have that on your hands.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |