Skip to main content

Assisted-suicide machine among items up for sale in Kevorkian auction

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 2:35 AM EDT, Tue October 11, 2011
The machine used by Dr. Jack Kevorkian in more than 100 assisted suicides is part of the auction.
The machine used by Dr. Jack Kevorkian in more than 100 assisted suicides is part of the auction.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Assisted-suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian died in June
  • On October 28, several items from his estate will be auctioned in New York
  • They include the machine that he used in more 100 assisted suicides

(CNN) -- The machine used by the late Dr. Jack Kevorkian in more than 100 assisted suicides will be among the items up for sale later this month, the auctioneer and his estate announced.

The Michigan pathologist helped spur an international ethics debate by helping suffering patients die and pushing for this practice to be legalized. His conviction in one such case landed him in prison for eight years. He died in early June at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, at the age of 83.

The auction will take place between 6 and 8 p.m. on October 28 at the New York Institute of Technology, according to a press release sent on behalf of both the late doctor's estate and the auctioneer. More than 100 pieces will be part of the sale, said Roger Neal, who is representing the two parties.

Besides the noted Thanatron machine, which Kevorkian built, other items to be auctioned include some of Kevorkian's correspondences and invention ideas, a pearl flute, his doctor's bag, a master lock from prison and his signature blue sweater. People can also purchase provocative paintings that he created, which come with brief descriptions from the artist himself, according to Neal.

The pieces are being kept under armed guard this week in Los Angeles, then will be shipped to New York. Neal said that the auction will be coordinated by David Streets, a Beverly Hills, California, fine art and celebrity memorabilia adviser, according to his website.

A portion of the auction proceeds will go toward the charity Kids Kicking Cancer at the request of the attorney for Kevorkian's estate and the late doctor's niece and sole living heir, according to Neal.

Kevorkian, dubbed "Dr. Death," made national headlines as a supporter of physician-assisted suicide and "right-to-die" legislation. He was charged with murder numerous times through the 1990s for helping terminally ill patients take their own lives.

He was convicted on second-degree murder charges in 1999 stemming from the death of a patient who suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease. He was paroled in 2007.

After his release, he said he would not help end any more lives.

In an interview with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta last year, Kevorkian said he had no regrets about his work.

"No, no. It's your purpose (as a) physician. How can you regret helping a suffering patient?" he said.

CNN's Greg Botelho contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT