1993 Libertarian Week Banquet
Held at the Clarion Hotel in Farmington Hills, Michigan on October 2nd 1993.
Famed “Suicide Doctor” Jack Kevorkian was named “Freedom Fighter of 1993” by the Libertarian Party of Michigan. His sister, Margo attended to receive the award on his behalf.
[The following is from the October-November 1993 Michigan Libertarian]
The following letter was sent to us by Dr. Kevorkian.
Dear Mr. Edwards:
It pleased me to know that you all enjoyed a successful Freedom Fighter dinner on October 2nd, and that my sister’s presentation on my behalf was well accepted.
It is indeed a high honor to be accorded the recognition your organization has bestowed upon me. I regret the deplorable societal circumstances which deprived me of the pleasure of participating in your noble gesture, not to mention the infringement of basic human rights that the deprivation exemplified.
Your extraordinary plaque will always symbolize to me the unending struggle for true freedom and enlightenment as well as the need for eternal vigilance which your organization espouses.
Jack Kevorkian, MD
BANQUET A SMASH HIT
The Libertarian Party of Michigan held its annual Libertarian Week Banquet on October 2 at the Clarion Hotel in Farmington Hills and enjoyed a huge success. A capacity crowd of 98 enthusiastic diners attended and applauded the presentation of the LPM’s first annual Freedom Fighter Award to famed “Medicide Doctor” Jack Kevorkian. The award was presented by Dr. Mary Ruwart to Margo Janus, sister of Dr. Kevorkian, who was unable to attend because of legal difficulties in connection with indict- ments stemming from two assisted suicides.
Chair Keith Edwards led off the program with an indictment of governments for hypocrisy. He pointed out that governments have killed nearly 36 million people in the Twentieth Century in wars alone and an even more shocking 160 millionof their own citi- zens, including deliberate mass starvation, from Shanghai to Waco. Governments believe they have the right to kill people who do not wish to die and also make it illegal for pain-wracked, helpless or terminal patients t~ end their own lives, nor is anyone else permitted to assist them in a painless way. This, said Edwards, is the height of hypocrisy and states the funda- mental issue of individualism versus col- lectivism.
Dr. Ruwart spoke of the experience of her late sister, Marti, who was one of Kevor- kian’s patients, and defended his work. She said that the hardest part of the day was the abrupt taking of the body by the authorities for an unnecessary autopsy. She also reviewed the careful study that Kevorkian makes of each case before accep- ting it and of the difficulty of obtaining records from an obstructionist medical community.
In her acceptance of the Freedom Fighter Award, Margo Janus discussed the importance of Kevorkian’s work, described the evaluation process, the methodolgy and the integrity of the procedure. She reviewed the inhumane interference by politicians and prosecutors, pointing that they had seized the original machine that provided the most effective and quick method and by suspending Kevorkian’s license, forced him to go to the less preferred method of carbon monoxide. So much for governmental “humanity”. She expressed confidence that her brother will win the legal battle and that assisted suicide, or “Medicide”, will be accepted and professionalized under strict rules of medical ethics.
Ms. Janus answered a great many questions, handling them capably and- fully. It was a touching experience for the audience, especially as she recalled the gratitude his patients felt toward Dr. Kevorkian for ending their pain and helplessness. Quite a lady.
The Banquet was also a financial success, raising over $1,400. Thanks go to Mary Ruwart for contacting the Honoree.
The plaque bore the inscription:
Dr. Jack Kevorkian
Freedom Fighter Award
In honor of his battle for liberty
and rational humanitarianism
Libertarian Party of Michigan
October 2, 1993
I would like to express my personal thanks to Barbara Goushaw, Karen Scarborough, Pat Baker, Dave Nagy, Ben Bachrach, Jon Coon and Kent Hyne for their help in making this event so successful
KEVORKIAN NAMED LPM’S FREEDOM FIGHTER
Famed “Suicide Doctor” Jack Kevorkian has been named “Freedom Fighter of 1993” by the Libertarian Party of Michigan. Dr. Kevorkian is scheduled to receive the award at the annual Libertarian Week Banquet on October 2, at the Clarion Hotel in Farmington Hills.
The Freedom Fighter Award was created at the Executive Committee meeting on August 8 and will be presented annually in years in which there is a worthy recipient to that person judged to have done the most to defend liberty and advance rational humanitarianism.
Dr. Kevorkian has been present at the suicide of 18 terminally ill or hopelessly pain-ridden patients and is believed to have assisted them. He is under indictment for the last two such events under the hastily-passed medieval and unconstitutional law in Michigan.
The Libertarian Party is the only political party to recognize and support the effort of Dr. Kevorkian to bring a humanitarian approach to the problems of those suffering unremitting pain or debilitating terminal illness. He has attempted to get the medical profession to address this issue and to set forth ethical guidelines for medically assisted suicide or “Medicide”. It is the Party’s position that the right to suicide is a confirmation of the right to life, is protected by the Ninth Amendment and implies that persons attempting suicide have the right to seek assistance.
The Banquet includes dinner and a wine reception. Dr. Mary Ruwart will make the presentation. All members have been sent an invitation and reservation form.
MARGO JANUS DIES
[From the September-October 1994 Michigan Libertarian]
Margaret “Margo” Janus, sister of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, died of a heart attack on Sep- tember 11, 1994, at age 68. Mrs. Janus was associated with Dr. Kevorkian’s drive to legalize assisted suicide in Michigan, serving as recordkeeper, counsel to the families of his patients and worker in the Constitutional amendment drive. She was buried September 14.
Margo accepted the LPM’s Freedom Fighter Award on Jack’s behalf at the Libertarian Week Banquet last October at which she impressed us with her knowledge, sincerity and devotion to the cause. She was a really fine person.
Contributions in her memory may be made to MERCY Fund, P.O. Box 790, Troy, MI 48099.