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March 26, 1999


In light of the guilty verdict announced in the Dr. Jack Kevorkian murder trial, Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, stated "the verdict issued today by the Michigan jury reaffirms the sanctity of life. All life is precious, regardless of whatever affliction or imperfection may exist. Dr. Kevorkian has relentlessly promoted the notion that imperfect people should be discarded. Today, that notion was proved wrong."

Dr. Kevorkian was found guilty of killing 52-year-old Thomas Youk last September. Mr. Youk suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease. In September, 1998, Dr. Kevorkian injected a fatal solution into Mr. Youk's bloodstream. The killing was broadcast on the CBS news program 60 Minutes in November. At the time of the broadcast, Cardinal Bevilacqua called airing of the deliberate taking of Mr. Youk's life "a new low in journalism," saying the Church "has made it very clear that euthanasia is always evil."

"While I remain saddened at the death of Mr. Youk, I am heartened that justice has prevailed in this case," said Cardinal Bevilacqua. "It is important to stress that killing someone in order to relieve pain should never be an option. Medical advances have taken palliative care to a new level, so that no one should ever suffer inordinate amounts of pain. Therefore, we are not asking that people suffer. We are asking people to honor the sanctity of life. Life is God's greatest gift. Today, the jury in Michigan showed it understands that life is to be protected at all its stages."


Cathy Rossi
Communications Director

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