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The late, controversial doctor's invention aided in the suicide of about 130 people

By Sara Hammel
Updated October 14, 2011 04:25 PM
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Credit: Courtesy The Estate of Dr. Jake Kevorkian

The machine Jack Kevorkian built to assist dozens of people in taking their own lives – which he named the “Thanatron” – will go up for auction on Oct. 28.

The machine, designed to minimize pain when terminally ill patients wish to end their lives, will be among more than 100 of Kevorkian’s personal items available for bidding, including artwork, handwritten documents from prison, a bulletproof vest, a paint kit, a typewriter and a pearl flute.

Kevorkian, who died in June, was nicknamed “Dr. Death” for his controversial advocacy of assisted suicide in the cases of the terminally ill.

In all, the trained pathologist aided some 130 terminally or chronically ill patients in their deaths during the 1990s. In 1999, he was convicted of second-degree murder after sending a videotape of himself euthanizing a terminally ill man to CBS’s 60 Minutes. His medical license was also revoked.

The auction will be held at the New York Institute of Technology in Manhattan, with a percentage of proceeds going to the charity Kids Kicking Cancer, according to the Kevorkian Estate.