Chronology of events relating to assisted suicide and euthanasia in MI
This is a timeline of events focusing particularly on Dr. Jack Kevorkian and the 1998 campaign to legalize assisted suicide in Michigan, one of America's crucible experiences with the issues of assisted suicide and euthanasia. For a history focused on U.S. and international events, click here.
June 4: Kevorkian assists Janet Adkins, 54, of Oregon in suicide. Adkins died in Kevorkian's van by an intravenous infusion of drugs. Adkins was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
June 8: Judge Alice Gilbert issues a preliminary injunction barring Kevorkian from further use of his suicide machine. (Made permanent in Feb. 5, 1991) Rep. Ciaramitaro and Sen. Dillingham introduce legislation to criminalize assisted suicide in Michigan.
August 18: Bertram and Virginia Harper of California come to Michigan under the belief that assisted suicide is legal. Mrs. Harper dies in a suicide/homicide incident. Mr. Harper is charged with murder. Mrs. Harper was diagnosed with cancer (Mr. Harper was acquitted on May 10, 1991).
December 3: Kevorkian is charged with murder in the death of Janet Adkins.
December 13: Murder charges in the Adkins case against Kevorkian are dismissed by Judge McNally.
March 19: Michigan Senate passes SB 32 anti-suicide legislation, by a vote of 26-8.
October 23: Kevorkian assists two non-terminally ill women in suicide, Marjorie Wantz, 58, and Sherry Miller, 43. The women died in a cabin at a state park. Wantz died from intravenous drugs, Miller died by inhaling carbon monoxide. Wantz was alleged to have pelvic pain, Miller had multiple sclerosis.
October 24: Michigan Rep. Perry Bullard appoints a three member Judiciary subcommittee on assisted suicide. (No pro-life members named, until five days later when two additional members were appointed.)
November 20: Michigan State medical board votes unanimously to suspend Kevorkian's medical license.
December 19: Oakland County Prosecutor Richard Thompson asks a grand jury to determine if there is a basis for charging Kevorkian in the Wantz/Miller case.
May 15: Kevorkian assists 52 year old Susan Williams in suicide at her Clawson, MI home. Williams died by inhaling carbon monoxide allegedly supplied by Kevorkian. Williams had multiple sclerosis.
July 21: Oakland County Circuit Judge David Breck dismisses murder charges against Kevorkian in the Wantz-Miller case. Breck declares that there is no law against assisted suicide and that patients have a right to request such assistance.
September 26: Kevorkian assists Lois Hawes, 52, of Warren in committing suicide. Hawes died by inhaling carbon monoxide allegedly supplied by Kevorkian. Hawes had lung cancer.
November 12: The Michigan House Judiciary Committee reports out only HB 4501. No action was taken on either HB 5415 or SB 32. (Passed by the Michigan Senate on Dec. 3rd by a vote of 24-6.)
November 23: Kevorkian assists Catherine Andreyev, 46, of Moon Township Pennsylvania in committing suicide. Andreyev, who died by inhaling carbon monoxide, had cancer.
November 24: By a vote of 72-29, the Michigan House passes HB 4501 establishing a commission to study assisted suicide. An amendment to the bill also creates a felony charge for persons who assist in a suicide.
December 15, Kevorkian assists in the suicides of Marguerite Tate, 70, and Marcella Lawrence, 67. Both women died in Tate's Auburn Hills home by inhaling carbon monoxide supplied by Kevorkian. Tate had Lou Gehrig's disease, Lawrence had arthritis, emphysema, and a heart condition. Hours after the Tate Lawrence suicides, Governor John Engler signs HB 4501 (Public Act 270 of 1992) prohibiting assisted suicide which will not take effect until March 30, 1993.
February 4: Kevorkian assists in the deaths of Stanley Ball, 82, and Mary Biernat, 73. Both died in Ball's Leland, MI home by inhaling carbon monoxide. Ball had pancreatic cancer; Biernat, from Crown Point, Indiana, had breast cancer. On the 15th he assisted in the suicide of Hugh Gale, 70 of Roseville, MI. Gale had emphysema and heart disease, he died by inhaling carbon monoxide. On the 18th he assisted in the suicides of two Californians Jonathon Grenz, 44 of Costa Mesa, and Martha Ruwart, 41, of Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Both had cancer and died by carbon monoxide in the home of Kevorkian assistant Neal Nicols.
February 11: The Michigan Senate approves Senate Bill 211 by a vote of 331. SB 211 provides technical amendments to the law banning assisted suicide to exempt non-licensed care givers who provide pain medications under a hospice program.
February 23: The Michigan House Judiciary Committee reports SB 211 to the House floor without amendments.
February 25: The Michigan House passes SB 211 (92-10) to move the effective date of the suicide ban to February 25, with the Senate concurring 286 that afternoon. Gov. Engler signed the bill at 5:00 p.m., giving the law immediate effect, (PA 3). Later in the evening, Oakland and Macomb County prosecutors executed search warrants on the homes of Jack Kevorkian and Hugh Gale. Evidence presented to the prosecutors indicated that Mr. Gale may have expressed a desire for his suicide attempt to be stopped.
March 1: The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court on behalf of Michigan cancer patients and health professionals, challenging the constitutionality of the ban on assisted suicide.
May 16: Kevorkian assisted in the suicide of Ronald Mansur, 54, of Southfield, MI. He was diagnosed with bone and lung cancer. He died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
May 20: Wayne County Circuit Court Cynthia Stephens struck down the Michigan law banning assisted suicide saying that it was unconstitutional.
June 22: Michigan Court of Appeals voted 21 to stay Judge Cynthia Stephens' ruling, thus reinstating the ban on assisted suicide.
July 30: The Michigan Commission on Death and Dying held its first meeting. The Commission was established under PA 270 along with the assisted suicide ban to ensure that physicians were properly trained and equipped to adequately treat patient's pain as well as address other concerns of dying patients.
August 4: Kevorkian assisted in the suicide of Thomas Hyde, 30, of Novi. He had Lou Gerhig's disease. The death occurred on Belle Isle, in Kevorkian's van, by means of carbon monoxide poisoning.
August 17: Kevorkian was charged with the assisting of the suicide of Thomas Hyde. He was released on $100,000 bond, and scheduled for a preliminary hearing on August 27, 1993, the hearing was delayed until September 9.
September 9: Judge Lipscomb ordered Kevorkian to stand trial for assisting in the suicide of Thomas Hyde. Kevorkian remained free on bond. Hours after Kevorkian was bound over for trial he assisted in another suicide. Donald O'Keefe, 73, of Redford Twp., a bone cancer patient in the early stages of the disease. He died by inhaling carbon monoxide.
October 22: Kevorkian assisted in the death of Merian Fredricks, 72, of Ann Arbor, MI. The suicide took place in Kevorkian's apartment. Ms. Fredricks had Lou Gehrig's Disease and died by inhaling carbon monoxide.
October 26: Kevorkian's attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, offered Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Richard Kaufman, a plea bargain. Kevorkian will plead no contest to two counts of assisted suicide if: 1) The Hyde and O'Keefe cases are heard by Judge Kaufman, 2) the judge makes a ruling as to the constitutionality of the assisted suicide law, and 3) if the law is found unconstitutional, the pleas will be moot, if not, they can withdraw the pleas. Judge Kaufman delayed ruling so he could have time to review the proposal.
November 5: Recorder's court Judge Thomas Jackson raises Kevorkian's bond to $20,000. Refusing to post bail, Kevorkian is jailed and begins a "hunger strike." On November 8th Sterling Heights attorney John DeMoss posted 10% of the $20,000 bail on Kevorkian's behalf. Kevorkian was then released.
November 16: With both the prosecutor's office and Judge Kaufman rejecting the plea bargain offer of October 26, Kaufman heard arguments regarding the constitutionality of the statute banning assisted suicide.
November 22: Kevorkian assisted in the death of Dr. Ali Khalili, 61, of Oak Brook, Illinois. Dr. Khalili was diagnosed with bone cancer and died by carbon monoxide poisoning in Kevorkian's apartment in Royal Oak.
November 30: Kevorkian surrendered to Royal Oak police at 8:40 a.m., after being charged with the October suicide of Merian Fredricks. Later in the day he was arraigned with bond set at $50,000 to be paid in full. Kevorkian refused to pay the bond and was taken to jail.
December 1: Kevorkian follows through with his threat to go on a hunger strike, by refusing all food. He would only accept water, juice and vitamins.
December 13: Judge Richard Kaufman rules that there is a constitutional right to "rational" suicide, therefore the Michigan ban on assisted suicide is unconstitutional.
December 17: Kevorkian is released from jail after Oakland County Judge Jessica Cooper reduced his bond to $100, which his supporters posted. He was placed under house arrest. He vowed to work within the system and not assist in any more suicides. Kevorkian announced plans to spearhead a petition drive to get the issue on the November 1994 ballot.
January 6: The Michigan Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the ACLU challenge and two criminal cases involving Kevorkian.
January 28: 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: 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: 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 18: 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: 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. On the 29th jurors began deliberations; after five hours they were adjourned for the weekend. On May 2nd jurors acquit Kevorkian of any wrongdoing in the Hyde case, concluding he merely meant for the carbon monoxide to relieve pain, but not kill.
May 10: 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.
June 4: Jack Kevorkian announces that the petition drive to place a constitutional amendment regarding euthanasia on the ballot failed to obtain enough signatures.
June 6: 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: 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.
October 4: Oral arguments in four cases regarding assisted suicide are heard in the Michigan Supreme Court.
November 25: Section 7 of PA 270 (ban on assisted suicide in Michigan) repeals itself.
November 26: 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: Legislation to re-enact a ban on assisted suicide in Michigan is introduced into the Senate by Sen. Fred Dillingham (SB 1311) and into the House by Reps. Joe Palamara and Ken Sikkema (HB 5968). Rep. Lynn Jondahl introduces HB 5966 to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia ("Aid-in-Dying").
December 7: The Michigan Senate passes SB 1311 without amendment by a vote of 26-9.
December 13: 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.
April 24: The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Kevorkian and the ACLU appeals.
May 1: 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: 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: 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. On this same date, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's 1991 civil injunction permanently barring Kevorkian from assisting in suicides.
June 26: 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". The next day 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 21: 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.
October 30: Jack Kevorkian is joined by six other physicians to form the group "Physicians for Mercy."
November 8: 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: 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.
February 12: Trial begins for Jack Kevorkian for the 1993 deaths of Merian Fredricks and Dr. Ali Khalili.
March 6: 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: 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: The third assisted suicide trial of Jack Kevorkian begins in the cases of Sharon Miller and Marjorie Wantz. Kevorkian showed up wearing Colonial-era clothing to show how medieval the charges were.
May 6: 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: 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: Kevorkian was present at the death of Ruth Neuman, 69, from Columbus NJ. She died from carbon monoxide poisoning. 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 1:, The body of Lona Jones, 58, of Chester, VA was brought to 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.
June 20: 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. Hamilton died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
July 4: Kevorkian attended the death of Shirley Cline, 63, of Oceanside, Calif. She had bowel cancer.
July 10: The body of Rebecca Badger, 37, of California, was brought to a Pontiac hospital by Jack Kevorkian. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She was the 33rd assisted suicide. Both Cline and Badger were killed by intravenous injection.
August 6: The first of 5 suicides in the month of August facilitated by Kevorkian, all by intravenous injection, including two on one day. Elizabeth Mercz, 59, of Cincinnati, Ohio. was diagnosed with ALS-Lou Gehrig's disease.
August 15: Kevorkian's second suicide this month was Judith Curren, 42, of Pembrook, Mass. She was 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.
August 20: Kevorkian's third suicide this month was Louise Siebens, 76, of McKinney, Texas. She was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.
August 22: Kevorkian's fourth and fifth suicide of the month were on this date. Patricia Smith, 40, was from Lees Summitt, MO. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The second was Pat DiGangi, 66, of East Northport, Long Island. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and kidney cancer. He became the 38th assisted suicide.
August 7: Oakland County Prosecutor Richard Thompson is defeated in the Republican Primary election by a former assistant prosecutor, David Gorcyca. Gorcyca made his campaign largely a referendum on Thompson's handling of Jack Kevorkian. Thompson's term of office ends on December 31.
September 2: Jack Leatherman, 73, of Knoxville, Tennessee died from an intravenous injection; the 39th assisted suicide. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May, 1996.
September 6: Acting on a tip, police interrupt a meeting between Kevorkian and Isabel Correa, 60, of Fresno, CA, in a motel room, confiscating the "suicide machine" and video tapes.
September 7: Kevorkian facilitates the death of Isabel Correa, 60, of Fresno, CA. She had a spinal disorder. She died by carbon monoxide.
September 26: 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. Also that day, Oakland County 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 29: Kevorkian attends 41st assisted suicide, Dr. Richard Faw, 71, Wilson, NC. He was diagnosed with colon cancer.
October 1: The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the assisted suicide cases of Washington v. Glucksberg and Quill v. Vacco.
October 11: Kevorkian attended the suicide of Wallace Spolar, 70, of El Paso, Texas. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
October 15: The U.S. Supreme Court let stand without comment a 1991 Michigan court order that bars Kevorkian from helping people commit suicide.
October 17: Kevorkian assisted in the suicide of Nancy Desoto, 55, of Bourbonnais, Ill., the 43rd assisted suicide. She had Lou Gehrig's disease.
October 23: 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 31: 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: Kevorkian's attorneys confirmed that he did attend the suicide of Loretta Peabody of Ionia County. The Peabody suicide came to light after authorities viewed the video tape confiscated in the Sept. 6, hotel raid in Oakland Co. The death occurred in her home on August 30, a week before the raid. The death certificate, signed by Peabody's physician, Dr. Poff, filed 4 days later said she died of natural causes. Her body had been cremated, so there was no autopsy. This brought Kevorkian's total to 45 deaths.
November 7: Kevorkian was arraigned in Ionia County, for the assisted suicide of Loretta Peabody. The indictment handed down by Ionia County grand jury, charging him with assisting a suicide, conspiring to assist a suicide, and he 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 had announced previously she was suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer. Ionia Co. Prosecutor Voet said he would consider dropping the charges if presented with proof of her illness.
February 4: 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 Gehrig's disease, neither patient was terminal.
March 6: The body of Helen Livengood, 59, of Richmond, VA, was found in a Romulus, MI hotel room. She had chronic arthritis. On March 19, the body of Albert Buddy Miley, 43, of Warminster, PA, was found dead in a Livonia, MI motel. Mr. Miley was a quadriplegic. 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. She had Lou Gehrig's disease. All three had notes in their room giving instructions to call their attorney, Geoffrey Fieger.
April 4: 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 9: 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: The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act, HR 1003, by a vote of 398-16.
April 16: The U.S. Senate approved HR 1003 by a vote of 99-0.
April 30: President Clinton signed the Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act into law.
May 4: The body of Delouise Bacher, 63, of Arvada, Co was found in a motel room in Michigan. A note to contact her lawyer Geoffrey Fieger was found. She had multiple sclerosis.
June 11: 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.
June 12: Ionia Prosecutor Ray Voet asked Judge Miel to declare a mistrial based on the fact the jury was now hopelessly tainted by the wild accusations made in Fieger's opening statement.
June 26: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the assisted suicide cases from New York and Washington state. The judges unanimously ruled that there is no "constitutional right to assisted suicide." The court left it up to individual states to pass laws regarding assisted suicide. On that same day, 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, 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 22: Merian's Friends launched their initiative to get physician-assisted death on the ballot. The group needed to collect 247,129 valid signatures during the next 180 days.
August 13, 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: 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 before. She died from an injection of poison.
August 29: 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 3: 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 7: 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: 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: 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: The body of John Zdanowicz, 50 of Berwyn, IL, was found in a Livonia motel. A note was found indicating that he was a patient of Jack Kevorkian and to contact his lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger. Mr. Zdanowicz was diagnosed with ALS.
October 8: Lois Caswell's body was found in a Detroit-area motel. She was 65, from Kentucky, and had chronic pain syndrome. She died from an intravenous injection.
October 13: Kevorkian assisted in the death of Annette Blackman, 34, Presque Ile, MI. She had MS.
October 23: Jack Kevorkian announced that he will begin harvesting organs and doing lethal experiments on the bodies of his assisted suicide clients.
October 30: 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 14: 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: 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.
December 3: 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." On that same day, the Michigan Senate approved a new ban on assisted suicide, 28-7. SB 200 would make assisting in a suicide a felony punishable by four years in jail and a fine of $2,000.
December 11: 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: 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, IA, was dropped off at a Pontiac hospital.
December 27: 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 18: 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 transsexual, she died from a lethal injection.
February 4: The body of Jeremy Allen, 52, of Cambridge, Mass., was taken to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital by Kevorkian. He had cancer.
February 23: 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: 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.
March 5: 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 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: Waldo Herman, 66, of Detroit died in his home with the help of Jack Kevorkian. Mr. Herman had lung cancer.
March 27: Jack Kevorkian delivered the body of Mary Judith Kranner, 67, of Southfield, MI, to an area hospital. She had Huntington's disease.
March 30: Burial finally held for Jeremy Allen, one of Kevorkian's victim, whose body remained unclaimed for nearly two months. A group from Massachusetts claimed the body and held a funeral.
April 8: The body of Shala Semino 46, Phoenix, AZ, was taken to Huron Valley Hospital by Jack Kevorkian. The hospital refused to accept the body due to a new policy, so the police picked up the body. She had ALS and died from a lethal injection.
April 13: 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: 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 prostate cancer. Both died from lethal injections.
April 24: 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: 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 19: Emma Kassa, 68, of Xenio, Ohio, died with Jack Kevorkian's assistance. She had lung cancer.
May 27: 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 to prevent the question from reaching the ballot.
June 7: 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, and the kidneys were not accepted for donation. Mr. Tushkowski was a quadriplegic.
June 30: 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: The judge did modify Kevorkian's conditions, so that if he assists in a suicide he can be jailed.
July 16: 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. Kevorkian refused to turn over the records.
July 20: 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.
August 24: The Michigan State Board of Canvassers unanimously approved final language for the assisted suicide measure on the Nov. 3 ballot. The proposal was assigned the title Proposal B, "Initiated Legislation to legalize the prescription of a lethal dose of medication to terminally ill, competent, informed adults in order to commit suicide."
November 3: Michigan voters defeated Proposal B with a resounding margin, 71% to 29%. The victory was credited to educating voters on what was really in the proposal.
November 4: A jury convicted Jack Kevorkian of two misdemeanor charges, interfering with police and resisting arrest. He was sentenced to pay $700 fine and $200 court costs. Kevorkian was under bond orders not to assist in any suicides or to break any other laws.
November 22: 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 Prosecutor David Gorcyca subpoenaed the tape from CBS. The death actually took place on September 17, 1998.
November 25: 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.
December 9: Judge Phyliss McMillen ordered Kevorkian to stand trial on the three charges against him.
December 24: 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 13: Gerald Klooster, Sr., died of natural causes in Castro Valley, CA. In 1995, his wife contacted Jack Kevorkian to help her end his life. Mr. Klooster's son stepped in to interrupt a suicide plan and a custody battle ensued over caring for the incompetent Mr. Klooster, Sr.
March 26: 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.
July: 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: The government in Amsterdam, Netherlands published plans legalizing mercy killing under guidelines that are expected to gain approval in 2000.
August 20: 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 3: 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.
October: 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.
April 23: The Michigan Supreme Court ended Jack Kevorkian's libel suit against the American Medical Association by allowing the appellate court decision to stand.
October 15: Kathleen Holey was sentenced to 15 to 30 months in jail after pleading guilty to assisted suicide charges. Jennifer Holey was found guilty of the sexual assault and was sentenced to up to 15 years in jail.