Austin Bastable, 53, of Windsor, crossed the border into Detroit in May to take advantage of Kevorkian’s assisted-suicide service. Bastable, who suffers from multiple sclerosis for the last 26 years and who attempted suicide in 1994, used Kevorkian’s carbon monoxide cylinder to end his life
The death occurred in the afternoon of May 6 at the Detroit home of Janet Goode, founder and former president of the Hemlock Society of Michigan. Kevorkian, and a group of doctors known as Physicians for Mercy, were present at the suicide.
At a May 8 media conference in Toronto, John Hofsess of the Right to Die Society played a videotape of Bastable recorded May 2, 1996. In the videotape, Bastable spoke of suicide as a “day of release” from suffering.
Pro-life groups immediately attacked the Right to Die society for exploiting Bastable and his family. The society made him a celebrity last fall by opening an address for Bastable on its Internet site (DeathNET).
Ted Gerk of the Pro-Life Society of British Columbia and John Hof of Campaign Life Coalition B.C., criticized Hofsess, Kevorkian and the Physician for Mercy group for their involvement.
“A group of American back-alley euthanasia doctors have now decided to assist in the deaths of Canadians,” the said, “We do not yet know all the circumstances, but we demand American and Canadian authorities conduct a thorough and complete investigation.”