Black SplatAbsolute Power (1997)

"Dr. Kevorkian, I presume?"

Absolute Power - "Dr. Kevorkian, I presume?"

Description: - Clint Eastwood as Luther Whitney confronts a killer in the motion picture Absolute Power (1997).

Luther Whitney is an aging jewel thief who pulls a heist in a luxurious mansion. As Luther gains access to a secret room, he discovers a cache of jewels, as well as a one-way mirror that looks into a nearby bedroom, where Luther unexpectedly sees the US President Allen Richmond (Gene Hackman) entertaining a female guest.

Luther gathers up his loot, and waits until it is safe to leave, but before that happens, the President's ardor gets the best of him and he roughs up the woman during sex (which leads to her murder).

After her death, secret service agents cover up the crime, and then discover that someone has witnessed the murder. Tying up loose ends, the agents track down Luther to keep him quiet.

The President: What do we know, so far?
Gloria Russell: Well, we've checked his license plates. He stole the car from a police impoundment lot.
The President: We're not dealing with a fool here, are we? Has he initiated contact?
Gloria Russell: Burton doesn't think he will.
The President: I agree. I apologize for my behavior. It won't happen again. Consider it a blip on the screen. As far as I'm concerned that's all he is, too.
Gloria Russell: Well, he could be a little more than that, Allen. He saw.
The President: He saw nothing. He saw a drunk woman who liked rough sex too much. He's a burglar. Who's gonna believe him? After all, it's not as if he has any evidence or anything.

To be sure that all possible leads to the President’s involvement in the killing are eliminated, the secret service agents also try to kill Luther’s lawyer daughter Kate Whitney (Laura Linney).

Failing to kill Kate by pushing her car off a seaside cliff, secret service agent Tim Collin (Dennis Haysbert) enters Kate’s hospital room disguised as a doctor to inject her with a poison.

Fortunately, Luther intercepts the man, saying, “Dr. Kevorkian, I presume?” and sticks a needle filled with caustic substance into the man’s neck.

Intimately intertwined, Luther says, “My guess, it's in your carotid artery by now. You're gonna get a little woosie. If I give you the rest of it, it'll fry your brain down to the size of a peanut." Luther tells the man "Drop that" and he lets got of the needle he was to use on Katie.

With his hand firmly on the needle's plunger Luther lowering the man to the floor and listens as the secret service agent justifies his actions: "For my President, right or wrong." To which, Luther responds, "Well, he made a mistake. You made a mistake. When you went after my little girl that was entirely unacceptable.” As agent Collins begs for mercy, Luther replies, “I’m fresh out,” and injects the rest of the deadly solution into the secret agent's neck.

Note: The phrase "Dr. Kevorkian, I presume? was inspired by Dr. Jack Kevorkian, aka "Dr. Death," a Michigan pathologist who took the limelight in 1990-91 when he advocated helping people to die. He calls himself an “obitiatrist,” preferring to be known as someone who engaged in “medicide.” Dr. Death provides the “means, expertise, counseling and assuredness” to leave this world in peace. Critics, however, call him a “serial mercy killer.”

The controversy over his tactics in assisting patients with Alzheimer’s disease, or other terminal/painful disorders kill themselves made this physician the man of the hour in the media. He made the rounds on the talk show and news magazine circuit defending his position; even appearing as a guest on ABC News NIGHTLINE hosted by news anchor Ted Koppel.

Dr. Death’s suicide list included an Alzheimer patient whom he helped die in June of 1990; and two Michigan women, a former elementary school teacher who had suffered from a painful genital disorder and a former housewife with Multiple Sclerosis both whom died in a double doctor-assisted suicide on October 23, 1991.

Dr. Kervorkian and his Death Machine

Dr. Death wasn’t in this for the money, however. He provides his suicide machine at no cost. The machine consists of three bags of solutions that drip into an intravenous line attached to the body of the person to die. In cases where a person's veins are too weak to take an intravenous needle, Dr. Death has a handy, dandy backup system—a face mask attached to a canister of carbon monoxide.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian died of complication from pneumonia and kidney related ailments in June of 2011. He was 83.

In the fall of 1991 the Hemlock Society published their controversial suicide manual entitled “Final Exit.”

Absolute Power - Movie Poster

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