Illinois physician dies in Kevorkian’s apartment



OYAL OAK, Mich. (AP)—An apartment rented by Dr. Jack Kevorkian was used Monday for a fellow physician’s suicide, the first that Kevorkian has attended since he was released from jail two weeks ago on charges in another death.

It was the 20th suicide at which Kevorkian has been present since 1990. He considers Michigan’s ban on assisted suicides an unconstitutional invasion of privacy. No charges were filed Monday.

Dr. Ali Khalili, 61, a rehabilitative medicine specialist from Oak Brook, Ill., died after breathing carbon monoxide.

Khalili was diagnosed in January 1990 with multiple myeloma, a bone cancer. The disease had spread through his skeleton, and he was in constant pain despite a morphine pump that regularly injected him with the powerful pain reliever, Kevorkian attorney Michael Schwartz said.

‘‘He was in pain to such an extent that he could no longer tolerate it,’‘ Schwartz told reporters. ‘‘Every day was a torture.’‘

Schwartz said Khalili told Kevorkian that he hoped his death would encourage other doctors to come forward.

Schwartz declined to say if Kevorkian assisted or merely witnessed the suicide. The state law enacted earlier this year in response to Kevorkian sets a maximum four-year prison sentence for aiding suicide.

Lt. Don Novak said police were called to the apartment by an unidentified man reporting a ‘‘medicide,’‘ Kevorkian’s term for doctor-assisted suicide. Novak said Khalili’s body was found on a couch.

Although Kevorkian rents the apartment, he lives in one next door.

Kevorkian accompanied officers to police headquarters, where he refused to answer questions, Novak said.

Kevorkian was released without charges and left without answering reporters’ questions. He remained out of sight later at the offices of his lawyers, Schwartz and Geoffrey Fieger.

Oakland County Prosecutor Richard Thompson declined to comment.

Kevorkian, 65, already faces two charges of illegally assisting a suicide in neighboring Wayne County. He is free on bail in those cases and is challenging the constitutionality of the law.

Wayne County Prosecutor John O’Hair urged Oakland County authorities to arrest Kevorkian and ‘‘see that he is basically detained in the Oakland County Jail until his date of trial.’‘

Khalili was an associate professor at Northwestern University’s medical school in Chicago, where he taught part time, university spokesman Chuck Loebbaka said.

A colleague described Khalili as someone who was ‘‘very, very strong and … never would complain.’‘

‘‘I had no hint that he would consider going to Kevorkian,’‘ said Dr. Henry Betts, who worked with Khalili at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. ‘‘He was very cerebral. He was very, very logical. He wasn’t self-pitying in any way.’‘

Khalili was born in Iran and earned a medical degree at Tehran University before emigrating to the United States in 1957. He is survived by a wife and a grown daughter and son.

Schwartz declined to say if any relatives were present when Khalili died.

On Oct. 22, Merian Frederick, 72, of Ann Arbor, who suffered Lou Gehrig’s disease, inhaled carbon monoxide in Kevorkian’s presence at the same apartment.

Her death was ruled a homicide, but Kevorkian hasn’t been charged in her death.

The state’s assisted suicide ban was struck down by a judge in May in a challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union, but the Michigan Court of Appeals stayed the ruling while it reviews the case.

Kevorkian was jailed from Nov. 5 through Nov. 8 when his bail was raised to $20,000 following Frederick’s death. Kevorkian vowed to starve himself in jail and refused solid food. He was bailed out by a lawyer who said he was tired of Kevorkian’s headline-grabbing.

Schwartz said Kevorkian would resume his hunger strike if jailed again. He said the image of his client ‘‘starving to death’‘ while the prosecutor is feasting at Thanksgiving ‘‘would not sit well with the public.’‘