A circuit judge Tuesday banned a doctor who invented a suicide device from using the machine, saying Jack Kevorkian was more interested in seeking publicity than in helping the terminally ill.
"His goal is self-service rather than patient service," Judge Alice Gilbert said Tuesday morning in barring Kevorkian from using his device or from helping people commit suicide.Janice Adkins, 54, an Alzheimer's disease patient from Portland, Ore., died June 4 after she threw a switch on the machine, which pumped a fatal dose of drugs into her body.
Kevorkian, 62, was charged in December with first-degree murder in Adkins' death, but Clarkston District Judge Gerald McNally dismissed the charge because Michigan has no law against assisted suicide.
Tuesday's ruling was on a civil suit brought by prosecutors to prevent Kevorkian from using the machine or building another one.
The judge said Kevorkian's peers "look upon him as a menace that threatens the existence of the medical profession" and said he "has a propensity for media exposure and seeks recognition through bizarre behavior."
"Boy, do I feel terrible," Kevorkian said after hearing Gilbert's ruling. He said he would abide by her order not to help anyone else commit suicide.
But, "I can still speak out and promulgate the idea," Kevorkian said. "There's still free speech, isn't there?"
Kevorkian's attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, said he would appeal.
Assistant Prosecutor Michael Modelski had sought the injunctions to keep the suicide machine locked up.
"If in fact he is allowed to go on with what he's doing, we're talking about potentially 50 dead people in a short period of time," Modelski said last week. "We're going to be picking up dead people throughout Oakland County."
The court has held the machine since June 7.