Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the Michigan pathologist dubbed "Dr. Death" for his role in assisting the suicides of more than 100 terminally ill people, died early Friday, his lawyer said.
Among his many clients were two Oceanside women and a San Marcos woman.
Kevorkian, 83, died at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., where he had been hospitalized subce last month with pneumonia and kidney problems.
The lawyer, Mayer Morganroth, said it appears Kevorkian suffered a pulmonary thrombosis when a blood clot from his leg broke free and lodged in his heart, according to the Detroit Free Press.
"It was peaceful. He didn't feel a thing," Morganroth told the newspaper. According to the Associated Press, he said nurses played classical music by Kevorkian's favorite composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, before he died.
In 1996, Kevorkian and his staff assisted the suicide of 63-year old Shirley Cline of Oceanside.
Cline, a retired librarian, was diagnosed with bowel cancer that had spread to other organs. She believed her doctors could do nothing more according to her family.
Two friends traveled with Cline to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak Michigan where hospital officials later learned she was a patient of Kevorkian. The Oakland County medical examiner believed Cline wasn't as gravely ill as she may have thought.
In November 1995, a San Marcos woman committed suicide with Kevorkian's help. Patricia Cashman suffered from breast cancer. Her body was found wrapped in a blanket inside Kevorkian's car parked outside the coroner's office in Oakland County Michigan.
Weeks after Cashman's death, the Oakland County medical examiner found no sign of cancer in her body. Cashman's family insisted she did have cancer and hired an independent doctor to review the medical records. That physician found Cashman had a form of the disease that was most likely fatal.
In July 1997, the body of Oceanside resident Dorinda Scheipsmeier was found in a Michigan motel room. Scheipsmeier, 51, was a multiple sclerosis patient. She was found at the same motel as another MS patient from Florida. Kevorkian's lawyer all but confirmed her death was connected to the infamous "Dr. Death."
Kevorkian had once announced plans to open an assisted suicide clinic in Southern California. The idea of an "obitorium", as he called it, helped Kevorkian raise thousands of dollars but was never realized.