Dr. Jack Kevorkian is offering the kidneys of a man whose death he attended, a step toward fulfilling his goal of letting the dying help the living.
Kevorkian announced at a news conference Sunday afternoon that a 45-year-old quadriplegic man died in his presence and asked that his kidneys be used for transplant.But even Kevorkian acknowledged it was unlikely the kidneys would be used because of opposition to assisted suicide.
"They're calling this unethical, just like they call everything unethical," Kevorkian said. "The odds of this being used are nil."
The agency that coordinates organ donations in Michigan said it would have nothing to do with them, and the nationwide group said there was virtually no chance the kidneys would be used.
"Jack Kevorkian's methods of organ recovery are unknown to us and do not meet our protocol, therefore we cannot accept nor are we interested in his offer," said Tom Beyersdorf, executive director of the Gift of Life Agency of Michigan.
The kidneys were removed 11 a.m. Sunday and stored for transplantation, Kevorkian said. They could be used for up to 36 hours, or until 11 p.m. Monday, he said.
The former pathologist, who has acknowledged taking part in more than 100 suicides, would not say who removed the organs or where they were being kept.
Kevorkian, whose medical license has been revoked, said the kidney removal followed all of the protocols for organ transplant, including sterile conditions and testing for HIV, hepatitis B and C, and other diseases.
Even though he didn't expect them to be used, Kevorkian asked that doctors interested in using the kidneys call his attorney, Michael Schwartz. About 70 people had contacted the law office to inquire about the kidneys as of about 7 a.m. Monday, according to the office.