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After talks with her husband, sons, minister, and local doctors; Janet Adkins decided she didn¹t want to undergo the sustained mental deterioration that Alzheimer¹s Disease caused (Uhlman 111). She began to realize she had the disease when she started forgetting songs and failed to recognize notes as she played the piano (Filene 188). ³She read in Newsweek about Dr. Jack Kevorkian and his Mercitron¹ machine, then saw him on the Donahue¹ Television show² (Filene 188). With her husband¹s consent but objections by sons and doctors, she telephoned him to arrange to kill herself (Filene 188). She still had a life expectancy of at least ten years with the illness, but she wished to die. She wanted to die before the disease robbed her of her competence (Larson 229). Kevorkian later killed Adkins and faced the consequences boldly (Hendin, ³Suicide in America² 247). The background, process, and effects of Dr. Kevorkian¹s questionable first patient, Janet Adkins, have a very detailed story in them.
Janet Adkins led a very productive life up to and even after she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer¹s, but she couldn¹t handle losing control of her brain (Filene 188). She was 54 years old and lived in a wealthy Oregon suburb with her stock broker husband, Ron. She was also the mother of three sons, taught English and piano, went hang gliding, trekked in Nepal, climbed Mount Hood, and generally behaved with a lot of energy (Gutmann 20). She and h...