Local News

Wilson Man Who Died With Kevorkian Remembered...

Posted Updated

WILSON, N.C. — A medical examiner in Michiganhas ruled the death of Dr. Jack Kevorkian's 41st assisted suicide patienta homicide.

Medical Examiner L.J. Dragovic says 71-year-old Richard Faw died of carbonmonoxide poisoning. Faw was a psychiatrist inWilson.

On Monday, people in Wilson remembered Faw (pictured, left) as an independent man who treated patientsin his homeoffice until last week.

Faw was the 41st assisted suicide patientof Kevorkian (pictured, right). Kevorkian delivered Faw's body totheemergency room of a Royal Oak, Mich., hospital.

Dragovic, the medical examiner, said Monday that preliminary autopsyresults showed Faw's colon had been removed and thathe had cancer in his colon area, lymph nodes, lower belly and bones. Buthe said other organs were cancer-free and that Faw wasn't terminally ill.

Clara Williams, a neighbor and friend, told WRAL-TV5'sAmanda Lambthat Faw was a very sick man.

Williams said she spent a great deal of time with Faw, and she was notterribly surprised by his decision.

Listen toaufile.

Former neighbor Elton Winstead says he remembers Faw as anearlyriser who exercised and read voraciously. Winstead says cancerdevastated Faw, who was used to an active and independent life. A recentback injury had prevented Faw from moving around without assistance.

Kevorkian's lawyer, Geoffrey Feiger, says Faw, a psychiatrist,suffered from colon cancer, which had spread to his liver, pelvis,lymph nodes and bones, causing ``unbearable suffering.''

Faw's sister, Bernadine, a doctor who lives in the Baltimorearea, said she could not talk about her brother other than to say:``I'm devastated.''

Faw graduated from Bowman-Gray School of Medicine at WakeForestUniversity in Winston-Salem in 1963, according to his 1966application for a North Carolina medical license. He performed aninternship in Roanoke, Virginia, and completed his residency inmedicine at Duke University in Durham.

Meanwhile Monday, an attorney for Dr. Jack Kevorkian asked a federaljudge tobar authorities from prosecuting the assisted-suicide advocate.

``Does a state have the right to make you suffer? The answer absolutelyhas to be no,'' Geoffrey Fieger told U.S. District JudgeGerald Rosen on Monday.

Fieger told Rosen that physician-assisted suicide was a right as basic as being able to go to the bathroom without governmentinterference.

The hearing was on a lawsuit filed Aug. 14 by Kevorkian. It aims to blockOakland County Prosecutor Richard Thompsonfrom enforcing the state's now-expired ban on assisted suicide forsuicides he attended while the ban was in place.

It also seeks to declare unconstitutional a Michigan Supreme Court rulingthat said assisted suicide could be prosecuted undercommon law.

Copyright 2024 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.