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Kevorkian says he will not assist in suicides if released

[JURIST] Jack Kevorkian [BBC profile] has said that he would not assist people in committing suicide if released on parole, but said that he would campaign to legalize assisted suicide. The former doctor is serving 10-25 years in prison on a second-degree murder conviction for giving a patient with Lou Gehrig's disease an injection of drugs that killed him in 1998. In an interview [transcript] with MSNBC, Kevorkian said, "I have said publicly and officially that I will not perform that act again when I get out. What I'll do is what I should have done earlier, is pursue this from a legal standpoint by campaigning to get the laws changed." The ex-doctor will not be eligible for parole until 2007. The US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments next Wednesday in Gonzales v. Oregon [Duke Law backgrounder], where the government is appealing [JURIST report] a 9th Circuit decision [PDF opinion; JURIST report] upholding Oregon's Death with Dignity Act [text], which allows assisted suicide. AP has more.

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