The Kevorkian Verdict


Kevorkian: Now he's getting cramps, right? Okay. We're not going to go any further with a physical thing now. I just want to see you walk a little bit, try to walk a little bit for the record. That's all.

Well, Tom, what is it you wish? Tell me your wish in plain English.

Thomas: I want to end this. I want to--

Kevorkian: Take your time. Take your time.

Thomas: I want--die.

Heidi: Die.

Kevorkian: Die? I understand he first said, "I want to end this." Right? Okay. I am going to Heidi read something to you. I want you to understand it. And this is your request. First of all, has anyone that you know of--Heidi, anybody in this room, any relative of yours, ever tried to talk you into doing this?

Thomas: Oh, no.

Kevorkian: Is it your choice entirely, absolutely?

Thomas: My idea.

Heidi: His idea.

Kevorkian: Yours alone?

Heidi: Yes. He asked me, when he was in Florida ... (inaudible) visiting and he wanted me to get your address, I obtained the address ... (inaudible)

Kevorkian: And he doesn't want hospice?

Heidi: He does not want to prolong--Tom and I communicate a lot better on ... that we read each other with our eyes.

Kevorkian: I understand.

Heidi: Tom is suffering so.

Kevorkian: I understand. I understand.

Heidi: And he wants to be free of this body. It's only a body. His soul will be free.

Kevorkian: Right. Right.

Heidi: ... (inaudible)

Kevorkian: He's a free spirit trapped in this body.

Heidi: Yeah.

Kevorkian: It's going to be your choice, now. Understand that. No one is ever going to try to block you or talk you out of anything that you don't want. Don't worry about that. Okay? Now, I just want you to relax. You want to relax.

Heidi: His crying and laughing are uncontrollable.

Kevorkian: That's good.

Heidi: That's part of the disease.

Kevorkian: I want him to relax as much as possible. I don't want him to have any fears.

Heidi: Do you want me to ... (inaudible) What do you want me to do?

Kevorkian: Do you want to write something ... (inaudible) Okay. I'll get the piece of paper.

Heidi: Thank you.

Kevorkian: [Reading] "I feel like"--do you like the pen?

Heidi: Yeah.

Kevorkian: Why don't we leave it there.

Heidi: Sometimes I make him write ... (inaudible)

Kevorkian: Do you like that pen? Okay, it's yours. He likes it. You know, if he can write this way so it is very legible. It's a good way to ... (inaudible)

[Laughter.] "I feel like the main character in"--is there more coming? [Laughter]

Heidi: ... (inaudible) have to get my head snipped off ... (inaudible)

Kevorkian: I'm going to stop right here and see what he writes.

Oh, wait a minute. Carl told me about that. We'll discuss it later.

Heidi: ... (inaudible)

Kevorkian: I know what he's writing. Carl told me Barker: the whole thing. I never read the book. I never saw it. It's an interesting thing. Carl, a friend of mine.

Heidi: He's been stating this--he describes his feelings ... (inaudible) occasionally. We talked about it. All four of us cried about it one night because of the story is so heart wrenching.

Kevorkian: Nobody but Tom would really know how that character felt.

Heidi: That's right.

Kevorkian: We can't know.

Heidi: No. And I had never read the book. But I cried when he was telling it. It made sense. He was telling on the typewriter because he can't speak, of course. Must read.

Kevorkian: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I know. I know about the book. A friend told me in detail about the book. He told me in detail. We will discuss it later.

He said(?), "I feel like the main character in the book Johnny Got His Gun ... (inaudible) Focus in on this right here.

Heidi: I'll tell you, the pen is good.

Kevorkian: We've got other ones at home. You got it? Okay. Now, Heidi, you have to read this to him.

Heidi: Okay.

Kevorkian: And let me write his name here. What was the initial ... (inaudible)

Heidi: "W."

Thomas: "W."

Heidi: Junior.

Kevorkian: Junior? Let's put the whole name down.

Heidi: Junior.

Kevorkian: Okay. Now, you have to read this to him. We bartered this out because we can't obtain the contract ... (inaudible) drugs. And this is what you've got to read. This is the request that--let's see if this is what Tom wants.

Heidi: Okay.

Kevorkian: Okay. You read it to him slowly so he understands everything.

Heidi: He understands ... (inaudible) fast or slow. But I'll read it slow.

Kevorkian: Okay.

Heidi: "I, Thomas W. Hyde, Jr., the undersigned, give my request of my own free will and without any reservations or extrinsic persuasion or duress, that my life of intolerable and interminable pain and/or suffering be ended in the most human, rapid and painless manner with the help of a competent medical professional. It is my understanding that I will end my life by breathing through a routine facial mask or plastic tent a lethal mixture of carbon monoxide and nitrogen gas. All details of procedures have been explained to me by the undersigned medical professional. And I am fully aware of the implications and the consequences of my voluntary carrying them out."

Thomas: ... (inaudible)

Kevorkian: Did you understand that, Tom? We're going to go over more of the details off camera. We're going to go over the details.

Heidi: He understands that.

Kevorkian: Okay. If he ... (inaudible) he can sign one more thing here. I hate to put him through all these signatures. It's your pen. So be careful. It's your pen. [Laughter.] Right here, Tom. ... (inaudible)

And then be a witness, Heidi, okay?

Heidi: Yes. ... (inaudible)

Kevorkian: Well, you're doing so well now. He must have had good penmanship earlier.

Heidi: That he did, honestly, for a man. And I have excellent penmanship. ... (inaudible) artistic ... (inaudible) And Tom has always ... (inaudible)

Kevorkian: Even this isn't bad in his debilitating stage. He writes very well. Okay. And then I'll fill in the rest. ... (inaudible)

One other question I've got to ask. Tom, what is your religion?

Thomas: ... (inaudible)

Heidi: Agnostic.

Kevorkian: Agnostic. In other words, you don't adhere to any organized religious doctrine or sect?

Thomas: None.

Kevorkian: None. And do you want any kind of religious counseling at all?

Thomas: No.

Kevorkian: None at all?

Thomas: No.

Kevorkian: Okay. None whatsoever?

Thomas: No.

Kevorkian: Okay. Is there anything else that you want to add to this or have Heidi tell us? Or, Heidi, is there anything you want to add before we conclude this discussion?

Thomas: ... (inaudible)

Heidi: I want Tom to be free.

Kevorkian: Okay.

Thomas: [Crying.]

Heidi: [Crying.] Every day it gets worse.

Kevorkian: We're here to help. Don't worry, Tom. You're not alone. You're not alone.

Neal, is there anything you wish to add?

Neal: We want to cover your fee and--

Kevorkian: Yeah. Okay. Well, see, there is no fee. You know that. There is no charge for this. Don't worry about money.

__: Also we would like to emphasize that at any time that you pull that ... (inaudible) you have the right to stop. Our feelings won't be hurt? We'll walk away happy if you don't do it or if you do do it. You have that right, you have that control. And ... (inaudible)

Kevorkian: That's right.

__: And if you decide that you don't want to go through with this, you can stop it at any time and walk away from it. We'll be just as happy.

Kevorkian: Absolutely. You can't hurt our feelings in any way. If you want to stop ... (inaudible) one minute before you reach for the thing, stop. It doesn't hurt anything. We can come back another day. Anything you want. You've got to understand, Tom. You are in control.

Heidi: This is the only thing that he has control over.

Kevorkian: That's right. He's got to have some control on his--nobody is going to deny or contradict or argue. Nobody. Okay? Not even so-called law.

Heidi: He wants control and this is the only control that he still has. To control his destiny, you know.

Kevorkian: I want you to relax as much as possible the time that's left. Try to enjoy yourself because you're going to get what you want. But relax and enjoy and we'll go over a ... (inaudible) details off camera. Okay?

Heidi: Okay

Kevorkian: All right. As it is now, what time is it?

__: 8:50.

Kevorkian: All right. This first session, then is completed at 8:50 on July 1st, 1993.


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