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Gay man could face jail for helping ill partner die

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  1. Simon Murphy 16 Jun 2009, 3:12pm

    He won’t be charged with anything though. Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland and as his partner had pancreatic cancer (one of the least treatable kinds of cancer) and faced certain death as a result I doubt very much that any charges will be pressed.

  2. sensibly common 16 Jun 2009, 3:34pm

    That’s as may be, but helping his partner to get to Switzerland from the UK could be construed as assisting the suicide.

    As far as I know, such cases have been investigated and brought no further before. It’s obvious though that there needs to at least be some small change in the law to protect partners/family members.

  3. Erik Slebos 16 Jun 2009, 3:43pm

    It is beyond me that in this day and age a civilized European country still threatens its citizens with a prison sentence when that citizen helps his or her loved-one to die with dignity. To assisted the dying person with getting in a taxi that drives the person to the airport for a flight to Switzerland already could be the trigger for such a threat. It is not only the danger for the partner but foremost the refusal of Great Britain to let their citizens die with dignity, because dying with dignity also means to die in the presence of your loved ones. It is time that this country grows up and faces its realities, of which one is everybody their right to die with dignity, and as much according to their own wishes. This country is punishing its citizens for loving somebody until the end. Shame on you British citizens that you keep quiet and not force your government to change this barbaric law.
    Erik Slebos, consultant for Successful Aging, Dying with Dignity, conquering Grief and finding Hope.

  4. Mihangel apYrs 16 Jun 2009, 4:16pm

    If the CPS prosecutes it will prove itself to be homophobic.

  5. Erik writes: “It is beyond me that in this day and age a civilized European country still threatens its citizens with a prison sentence when that citizen helps his or her loved-one to die with dignity”.

    The UK is NOT a civilised country. Repeated attempts to pass a Bill legalising even a restricted form of “assisted dying” [backed by over 80% of the British public] have failed because of opposition by religious extremists, who demand that their sectarian views on end-of-life care be inflicted on the rest of society.

    Not all patients can afford to travel to Switzerland. And some who can afford it are not physically able to travel: or to take the medication unaided, [as Dignitas require].

    As Erik says: we must change the inhuman law.

  6. Mihangel apYrs:
    “If the CPS prosecutes it will prove itself to be homophobic.”
    This is crap, (yet again). If the CPS prosecutes, it is because the man broke the law. I agree, the law is an ass, and in my opinion, he was perfectly justified in allowing his partners assisted suicide. However, stop continually trying to bring in the whole gay victimisation scenario into something which is quite obviously nothing of the kind.

    There are many antiquated laws still prevalent, and the crime of suicide itself was only repealed in the suicide act of 1961. The problem is, statutes tend to stay on the books unless otherwise counter-claimed.

    To play devil’s advocate on this one, there is also the factor that this could be the thin end of the wedge. One could imagine a scenario in years to come where “Granny is too old, and I’ll be damned if I’m paying for her rest home, let’s visit Switzerland”

    The problem is, is when legislation like this becomes a catch-all, and it gets abused. The caveats for assisted suicide have to be totally and utterly watertight. I heard it suggested once that it should be only carried out on the unanimous approval of the next of kin, a priest, a doctor and a lawyer. I think that might work.

  7. Mihangel apYrs 16 Jun 2009, 6:34pm

    RobN, your vitriolic response is only to be expected from someone as provenly as bitter as you. NO straight partner has has been prosecuted assisting their partner, so if a gay one is what particular interpretation can be put on it?

    Frankly, the expressions of your profound contempt for every gay person is becoming boring. It’s obvious that you don’t want anything to do with us and come here only to mock those of us who actually do care about making things easier for those young gays who still have to face the pure nastiness of straight society.

    I don’t particularly care what your opinions are: but I do find it sad that you’re wasting the declining years of your life pouring contempt on those who are at least trying to have a content life – and that includes the disco bunnies, the airheads, and the pretty boys who don’t even notice anybody over twentyone.

    I will not bother to respond to you again, life’s too short.

  8. Pete & Michael 16 Jun 2009, 6:47pm

    So sorry to hear about this, our sincere thoughts go to Alan with the loss of his partner, he did what was right. the Greatest Love of all is being there and caring for The One you Love whether gay or straight.

  9. Mihangel apYrs:
    This is all just hype and conjecture. At what point did the CPS say they would charge anyone? If they do, then maybe you have an axe to grind, but until such point, all you are doing is pouring petrol on the flames that this reactionary, tabloid website enjoys generating. They make up volatile headlines with little or no substance, and people like you react to it.

    This is yet another Pink News non-event.

    As for “making things easier for those young gays who still have to face the pure nastiness of straight society”, I wouldn’t let that fact worry them. I’d be far more concerned about the gay one, it’s far nastier and bitchier than any bunch of straights could generate.

  10. RobN hits the nail on the head, for once.

  11. Brian Burton 17 Jun 2009, 6:57am

    Do anyone of you writing on this thread Know what ‘LOVE’ is? and what we do for ‘LOVE’ You lot can prattle on to your hearts content. It happened because of ‘LOVE’ and nothing else.

  12. Mihangel apYrs 17 Jun 2009, 7:13am

    TomPaine
    what particular letter of IF didn’t you understand.

    CPS hasn’t charged anyone yet for taking a “loved one” to Switzerland. All I said was if it charges this guy then one has to examine the case differences, and the main/only difference is the relationship.

    RobN seems to think that the “gay society” (interesting isn’t it that there isn’t a gay community in this gay society) is more dangerous than elements of the straight one – the Admiral Duncan bomb might be extreme but there is a subset of people who actively oppose us.

    Some here seem to take the line that “keep your head down, act straight, subscribe to their judeo-xian ethics and you’ll be OK”. But that rather begs the questions “why should we adopt the self-repression that the straights have developed for themselves?

  13. Linda Barry 17 Jun 2009, 7:54am

    “Some here seem to take the line that “keep your head down, act straight, subscribe to their judeo-xian ethics and you’ll be OK”. But that rather begs the questions “why should we adopt the self-repression that the straights have developed for themselves?”

    The answer is that RobN needs a lot of work, you know, “upstairs”, while the rest of us have come to a better place in being proud for having to fight for what we are and be willing to stand up to the crap we have to endure from nuts like him. That, and the fact he’s just a small minded little bitch who can’t stand being gay, and thinks the rest of us are as weak and stupid as he is.

    Its not that hard to figure out. He should be pities, and he would be, if he wasn’t such an arse.

  14. What a sad case :(

    However, I am very confident this will man will not be prosecuted (I study Law). For the simple fact that it happened in another country.

    Only here, in Britain, would the CPS get involved. The law here is slightly muddled so I understand why people are confused. Parliament and The House Of Lords are very reluctant to change the law over here due to the very good example given by RobN: “Granny is getting too costly to care for so….” – That’s why our law will not change. However, this happened in Switzerland so the CPS will (gladly) want/have nothing to do with it. The CPS generally have bigger fish to fry – the CPS are more concerned with ever-expanding police powers and the Government instructing them to give lenient sentences because the prisons are over-crowded.

    “Some here seem to take the line that “keep your head down, act straight, subscribe to their judeo-xian ethics and you’ll be OK”. But that rather begs the questions “why should we adopt the self-repression that the straights have developed for themselves?”

    This is a very, very articulate and well-made point. All of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) are/were designed for control, oppression and enslavement of the mind. “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people” – Karl Marx (and no, I’m not a ‘Marxist’, but him criticism and explanation of what religion is/does is excellent :) ) So surely any non-conformity to these government controlled institutions is a good thing????

  15. For all we might at times doubt it given the actions of some people, this is a reasonably civilised country that has made good progress on social issues. The present position on assisted suicide is simply not sustainable and will change. Its sinply a question of when and I hope its sooner rather than later. The ‘what about’ argument put forward by RobN is the old chestnut of bringing in some argument about poor old granny. The passage of legislation is complex, but it is not beyond the wit of man to frame the legislation in such a way that guaranteees are solidly contained in it. Yes perhaps there should be an agreement between the person, next of kin, a doctor, a lawyer – but why on earth should it need the agreement of a priest? That would simply be handing back to the church power that we have spent years trying to wrest from their grasp?

  16. Monkeychops 17 Jun 2009, 2:59pm

    Tom/Rob, agreed. This is not a gay issue, this is Pink News over-sensationalising and trying to claim it’s down to homophobia. A bit like the murdered gay homeless man…who was murdered by his ex-boyfriend. They deliberately sensationalised the title to look as though it was a homophobic attack. The guy may be charged because he could be breaking the law. No-one has ever been charged, but they have faced the threat of it just as much as this guy. If they do charge him, then we’ll have to look into the particulars of the case. It would be wise to avoid any hysteria until it happens. This man is in the same position as any other Brit who has gone to assist the suicide of someone in Switzerland. Nothing more, nothing less.

    And people, we all know that RobN doesn’t always give opinions that we agree with, but take his views issue by issue and don’t just condemn what he says something because you don’t like him. If he’d given another name, you’d probably have agreed with him. Content, not who says it, are the important bit.

  17. Monkeychops 17 Jun 2009, 3:00pm

    The good point of all this is that Dignitas don’t seem to discriminate on sexuality when it comes to euthanasia.

  18. Monkeychops 17 Jun 2009, 3:06pm

    Linda – does RobN really hate being gay? Are you 100% sure on that? He’s not said it as far as I can tell. A gay guy with different views yours, yes certainly. How do I know that? From what he’s written. This is what you should be commenting on, not speculating about parts of his psyche that he hasn’t even said. Why don’t you just stop making assumptions you can’t prove just because – you’re not achieving anything. Fine, you don’t have to agree with him, but stop calling him a “little bitch” and “stupid” etc. Argue in a dignified manner at least otherwise you will just end up being called petty names as well.

    What is this better place of which you speak? A gay ghetto safe from the harm of the outside world? Good for you for fighting the cause, but actually, we all are. Or we wouldn’t be here.

  19. Mihangel apYrs 17 Jun 2009, 3:18pm

    Monkeychops:
    it is a gay issue only in so far as it’s the first time that a gay couple has been in this position – not of itself exceptional, but newsworthy (hey – queers have normal lives and relationships and problems and tragedies).

    Let’s face it, most of tabloid “news” is for the interested public rather than the public interest, and shouldn’t we all admit to a frisson of pleasure when “the gay” hits the news in a positive way?

  20. Monkeychops 17 Jun 2009, 3:29pm

    I’d hardly call a guy dying of pancreatic cancer and then his partner potentially being prosecuted a “positive story” or to feeling any kind of frisson. It’s not quite the same vein as “gay man plays rugby for England without getting head smashed in” or “lesbian wins Olympic Figure Skating Gold” when there is a sense of achievement that heralds a new era of acceptance for us. And we don’t actually know if this is the first time a gay couple have gone to Dignitas. Or to other clinics abroad. It might be just the first time it’s appeared on here. Not everyone wants to seek publicity in these circumstances.

  21. JohnF: I am only paraphrasing concepts I had heard. Basically the approval was family, legal, medical and spiritual – I think most people would agree that covers most of the bases. If you are an atheist, find somebody else that could cover that aspect. In any situation, particularly when it concerns someone’s very life, the control has to be extremely strict and precise, otherwise it will be open to abuse. We have all seen what happens when apparently “honourable” people are given guidelines on how to claim back expenses… If you leave loopholes, you can bet your arse someone will use them to their advantage.

    This is an incredibly touchy and sensitive subject that cannot be rushed through like a fox hunting bill. However, it does need to be addressed.

  22. Linda Barry: Listen, you miserable old harpy of a dyke; I have no problem being gay, I have no problem with sex, and I am most certainly not weak or stupid. You know fuck all about me. That fact that I find most gay men a bunch of c*nts probably explains why a dyed in the wool, dungaree-wearing diesel like you would support this bunch of selfish wankers. I just find that overbearing, opinionated lefties such as yourself expect the rest of us conform to your way of thinking. Well I for one don’t, and I make sure that fact is very apparent to all, just in case you and your kind try to browbeat and railroad people through guilt trips into thinking you cannot possibly be gay if you aren’t a socialist. So please go have a nice day, and if you can’t, fuck right off and let me have one.

  23. Brian Burton 20 Jun 2009, 9:20pm

    Oh! SWEET, SWEET RobN, You must come and play the pianoforte in my friend’s Bordello. You being such a waspish old Queen would fit in there superbly!….Cor blimey you sickening old creep, just do us all a big favour and ‘DROP DEAD’

  24. Alan Cutkelvin Rees 24 Jun 2009, 12:20am

    I would like to thank everyone who took the time to comment (positive and negative) on my late partners assisted suicide and the possibility of me being arrested. I have committed a crime under this ignorant law and could be prosecuted by the CPS. As yet the police or CPS have made no contact with me, but still could!!!
    My late partner was very sick when we travelled to a foreign land for his assisted suicide passing away peacfully and dignified. But he should NOT have had to travel,he should have been able to go to a UK clinic. We must have a change in the law.

    Alan Cutkelvin Rees

  25. Dear Alan, I have discovered this story late owing to have been deeply involved in arrangements following the death of a very close gay friend of mine. Within days of that funeral a dearly loved pet which had been in the last phase of its unfortunately very short life reached such a stage of difficulty that it had to be put to sleep. That too was a terrible loss. So, after both of these experiences, from which I have certainly not yet recovered, I feel for the extraordinary experience that you have been through.

    I want to send you my great admiration. By allowing your story to go public you have allowed gay and lesbian people to know that it is not only heterosexual people who have been using the wonderful service provided by Dignitas. To know that if the law does not change significantly here in the UK we gay and lesbian people do have the option of ending our lives with dignity in Switzerland is a great comfort. Thank you very much for that. And very best wishes too now in re-arranging the rest of your life.

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