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SUICIDE VICTIM SAYS DECISION WAS HERS, NO ONE ELSE’S

SHARE SUICIDE VICTIM SAYS DECISION WAS HERS, NO ONE ELSE’S

One of two chronically ill women who committed suicide in a remote cabin in the presence of euthanasia advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian left a note saying: "If God won't come to me, I'm going to find God."

Marjorie Wantz, 58, of Sodus said she had suffered agonizing pain for 31/2 years after undergoing laser surgery for pelvic abrasions."This is my decision and no one else's," the former teacher's aide wrote in her journal. "After 31/2 years, I find I can no longer go on with this pain and agony.

"I have not been out of my house in 31/2 years except to go to Detroit to the doctor. I do not call this living. . . . I'm so glad there's Dr. Kevorkian who can help me."

Wantz described the last 13 months of her life as "pure hell."

"No doctor can help me any more. If God won't come to me, I'm going to find God. I can't stand it any longer."

Wantz and Sherry Miller, 43, of Roseville, a Detroit suburb, killed themselves Wednesday night at a cabin in the Bald Mountain Recreation Area, about five miles east of Lake Orion.

Besides Kevorkian, Wantz's husband, William, and Sharon Welsh, a friend of Miller's, were present. The women's bodies were found lying on cots after Kevorkian called police to report their deaths.

Miller was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the early 1980s. Her marriage ended in divorce and, by the time of her death, she was virtually housebound and living with her parents. Her two children, 17 and 20, live with their father.

At Kevorkian's civil trial in January, Miller, who was confined to a wheelchair, testified that she wanted to end her life and would use Kevorkian's "suicide machine" if she had the chance.

Wednesday night, Wantz was connected by a hypodermic needle to a lethal chemical solution. Miller reportedly breathed carbon monoxide from a gas bottle.

In June 1990, Kevorkian helped Janet Adkins, 54, an Alzheimer's disease patient from Portland, Ore., commit suicide with a device similar to the one Wantz used.

Oakland County authorities charged Kevorkian with first-degree murder in the Adkins case, but the charges were later dropped by a district judge who said there is no law in Michigan specifically prohibiting assisted suicides.

In the civil trial, Kevorkian was ordered not to use his suicide device. But in an interview on British television earlier this year, Kevorkian said he didn't feel obliged to obey the order.

Earlier this year, Kevorkian wrote a book titled "Prescription: Medicine, the Goodness of Planned Death" in which he outlines his theories on medically assisted suicide.

Oakland County authorities said Thursday it could be six weeks before they decide whether to file new charges against the man who acquired the nickname "Dr. Death" after the Adkins case made worldwide headlines.

"We really don't know what happened so we are not taking a position one way or another," said assistant prosecutor Michael Modelski.