November 10, 1996 in Nation/World

Hemlock Society Founder Indicted With Kevorkian

Associated Press
 

The founder of Michigan’s Hemlock Society chapter, a 73-year-old woman who herself is dying of cancer, has been indicted along with suicide-advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian, her lawyers said Saturday.

Janet Good received a letter from the Ionia County prosecutor telling her to report for an arraignment Tuesday, said her attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, who also represents Kevorkian.

The letter did not specify the charge, but it did say Good was indicted by the same grand jury that charged Kevorkian last week in the Aug. 30 death of Loretta Peabody of Ionia, who suffered from multiple sclerosis.

Fieger said the letter came Friday and he has not yet spoken with prosecutors about it. Ionia County Prosecutor Raymond Voet did not answer telephone calls at his office Saturday and his home number is unlisted.

Bringing charges against Good “is the most vicious, foolhardy act a human being could undertake,” Fieger said Saturday from Denver, where he was attending a Hemlock Society conference.

Fieger’s partner, Michael Schwartz, added: “No human being would charge a dying woman this way. It’s appalling.”

Good, of Farmington Hills, is battling incurable pancreatic cancer. She founded Hemlock of Michigan, an organization that advocates suicide rights for the terminally ill. She has admitted being present several times when Kevorkian assisted in suicides.

Fieger has acknowledged that Kevorkian was present when Peabody died at her home, 35 miles east of Grand Rapids.

The Oakland Press reported that Good also was present with the Peabody family.

Good didn’t seem worried about the prospect of a trial, said a friend, Carol Poenisch.

“She’s very sick. It takes her hours to get up, to get dressed in the morning,” said Poenisch, whose mother, Merian Frederick, died by inhaling carbon monoxide at Kevorkian’s apartment in 1993.

Kevorkian, who has acknowledged attending 45 suicides since 1990, was arraigned Thursday and freed on personal bond.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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