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Kevorkian Jurors Focus on Suicide Consent Form

From Associated Press

Jurors deliberating an assisted-suicide charge against Jack Kevorkian asked to see several pieces of evidence Friday, including a suicide consent form signed by a terminally ill man.

Most of the jury’s requests on its first full day of deliberations centered on where the man’s death occurred and whether Kevorkian’s only intent was to end the man’s suffering--not to cause his death--a loophole in Michigan’s law banning assisted suicide.

After more than five hours of deliberating, jurors were sent home for the weekend. They are to resume their work Monday.

Kevorkian, 65, is charged in the Aug. 4 death of Thomas Hyde, who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, a degenerative nerve disorder that left him barely able to walk.

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Hyde, 30, died on a mattress in the back of Kevorkian’s van by pulling a string that released a flow of lethal carbon monoxide through tubing and into a plastic face mask. Kevorkian said he placed the mask over Hyde’s nose and mouth.

During deliberations, jurors sent for a consent form that Hyde and Kevorkian signed a month before Hyde died.

Jurors also asked to see the string and tubing used in Hyde’s suicide and were given the carbon monoxide canister and face mask.

They also received photos chronicling the illness that turned Hyde from a healthy athlete to a man so weak he could not hold his 15-month-old daughter.

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And they reviewed a section of the assisted-suicide law stating that the law does not apply to doctors administering medical procedures if the intent is to relieve suffering and not cause death.


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