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Jack Kevorkian

* Re “For Kevorkian, a Loss,” editorial, March 28:

How can you see Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s actions as “self-righteous insistence on making himself the focus of controversy”? This is a man who is willing to spend the rest of his life in prison to show his conviction to a cause. It’s impressive to see someone perform an act of civil disobedience the way it’s supposed to be done, in full view of the authorities, demanding to be punished for the crime.

The point of civil disobedience is to call attention to the law you disagree with so that the public will be sufficiently outraged to demand that the law be changed. I think eventually that will happen, just as it did with abortion laws. A majority of Americans believe that the government should not have the power to tell people what they can or can’t do with their own bodies, with or without the assistance of a doctor.

NEIL HOPPER

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Los Angeles

* Death by lethal injection: Done maliciously, it’s murder; performed by the state, it’s execution; managed by your vet, it’s putting them to sleep; do it yourself, it’s suicide; use a helper, it’s assisted suicide. Kevorkian isn’t guilty of murder. We just don’t have a category yet for what he did. We need to acknowledge this (inevitable) phenomenon and build new laws around it.

CURTIS M. BRUBAKER

Los Angeles

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