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Police to investigate gay BBC presenter’s mercy killing

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  1. Ray Gosling was interviewed this morning on the Radio 4 “Today” programme. Go now to the Radio 4 website and use the “Listen Again” facility to find the interview, conducted by Sarah Montague. It went out sometime between 8.15am and 8.45am.

    The gist of the information that was supplied during that interview is as follows. Gosling has recently been making a TV programme in the Midlands on the subject of Assisted Dying. This was, of course, harrowing to do. Amongst those he interviewed were many who had watched or were watching loved ones dying an awful long and painful death, but while we would all defend to the death our right to put down a beloved cat or dog in pain those people have been or are unable to assist a dignified death because of the current law. After conducting such interviews for his film Gosling felt that if he had any shred of integrity in him he was compelled to then turn the camera on himself and tell viewers that he had been in a similarly awful situation many years ago, at a time long before any life-saving treatment for HIV or AIDS, and that he had chosen to honour a pact that he had made with a loved one.

    So what we have here is a situation where a dying person made a request, a pact was made, and the pact was subsequently honoured by the loved one. At that time there was no other alternative to such a pact apart from the dying person continuing to endure tormenting pain and indignity. And Gosling has very very bravely included this person experience of his in his film. It will be a film not to be missed. I hope it can still go out. I hope his personal admission will not be excised from the film.

    Our society has a long way to go before it emerges from its hypocrisy and its fear of worst-case scenarios and embraces the right of all creatures to die with dignity, when and how we wish.

    I have a friend who when he comes across a dying bird, rabbit, or squirrel while out on a country walk cannot just shrug his shoulders and say, “Oh, well, that’s life, tough!” and pass on without mercifully and gently taking the animal and then suddenly wringing its neck to instantly relieve it of its suffering. I suspect the negative voices that have spoken above would not have the gumption or the adult maturity to do such a decent thing. The only choices they are happy to make are shallow ones concerning the colour of the next unnecessary new sofa and the best T-shirt to wear to the next club night.

    Let no person comment negatively on this matter without going to the Radio Four website, finding this morning’s intervew and listening to Gosling recounting why he made the admission in the course of making his film.

    I’ve never been much enamoured with Gosling, but for what he has done in the past twenty-four hours I take my hat off to him and offer him a great big hug!

  2. I find this difficult 16 Feb 2010, 1:37pm

    I can empathise with this, as a former partner who was living with HIV/AIDS asked me too end his life if it came to it and meant him being kept alive pointlessly in hospital by tubes & machines. I cared for him every day and after two and a half years of living with AIDS, he had gone blind, wieght dropped to less than five stone. He eventually died as a result of renal failure, in my arms. I have often pondered as to whether I would have carried out his wishes had it come too it, especially as the doctor had provided copious amounts of morphine in a syringe driver, my understanding ‘if’ required.

    I empathise with Mr Gosling having walked ‘half a mile’ in his shoes.

  3. Dr Peter Saunders 16 Feb 2010, 1:44pm

    Were Mr Gosling to be prosecuted it would most probably be under the Murder Act 1965 (mandatory life sentence) rather than the Suicide Act 1961 (up to 14 years) as this was, from his account, a case of intentional killing (smothering with a pillow) and not assisted suicide.

  4. John(Derbyshire) 16 Feb 2010, 1:50pm

    Dr Saunders- This would mean that Gosling would serve a minimum of 9 years?

  5. Well Dr. Saunders, forgive me if I don’t take your legal estimation as fact, given you are less then objective. We find on this site many religious types with similar “opinions” that seem to better serve their own self interests than benefit the great good of others, thank you.

  6. Professor Nigel Hammersmith 16 Feb 2010, 1:59pm

    “Dr. Peter Saunders”, that Mr. Gosling’s case is one of “intentional killing” as opposed to “assisted suicide” is entirely YOUR judgement.

    It is my judgement, however, that Mr. Gosling’s case is one of “assisted suicide”.

    If I were to be living in Holland I could go through a very long procedure and be granted the right to help a loved one die in a dignified manner by the use of an appropriate drug. I would know that when the time was right I would have licence to use that drug. It would be a case of a perfectly legal “Assisted Dying” – or an “Assisted Suicide” as you have called it. As things stand at the moment people make such pacts but are denied access to gentle and humane means of assisting a death. Cruelly, this society forces people to have to use such means as smothering.

    It’s time we really began to think deeply about this matter and not respond to it irrationally, too-simple religious imperatives such as “Thou shalt not kill” completely dominating people’s thinking.

  7. Well said, Will! There are a great many doctors in the UK and Ireland who are humane and rational, and there are unfortunately a considerable number who are clever and good at diagnoses etc but who lack genuine compassion. Have we not all been unfortunate enough to meet one now and again and to then quickly try and find someone better!

    The snowball is rolling and this situation will change and we will, thankfully, end up with the humane and intricate systems as are in place in The Netherlands and Belgium, but there are so many frightened and fear-ridden nay-sayers around that it could be quite some time.

    The visit of the old goat of Rome certainly ain’t going to help: reinforcing all use of penetrative thought as is his mission. Did you see that footage on the news last night of all the Irish bishops in Rome at the moment meeting him to discuss the crisis in Ireland with regard to all the exposures there have been with regard to members of the Catholic clergy having been sexually abusing children for decades? Could you believe, as you looked at their faces, that there wasn’t a single one of them who had fingered a good number of boys and/or girls in his time! Yet there they all were cow-towing to the old goat like a bunch of innocent angels.

  8. It’s always felt very strange that, on the one hand, our government can slaughter thousands of innocent civilians, in Iraq for instance, and then, on the other hand, get all ‘high and mighty’ over the bringing to end a time of pure hell of a loved one.

  9. He’ll get a tougher sentence because he’s gay. If he was straight person they’d let him off.

  10. My partner and I had a similar pact in the same era. In the end, he died after his doctors and I agreed to stop treating his symptoms and focus on him being comfortable. you could describe this asassisted dying. I would have done what Mr Gosling did if necessary, and would have done so openly if neccessary. Anyone with any shred of humanity who loves someone deeply finding themeselves in the same desperate cul de sac would do the same if their partner wanted it. The ‘consequences’ mean nothing to you when you are in this situation.

    I applaud Mr Gosling’s challenge to these inhumane laws. After all, you wouldn’t treat a dog this way.

  11. I think that Ray’s admission may relate to the early 1980s: a time of panic and paranoia about AIDS and hardly any effective treatment to alleviate its terrible consequences. This was a time when AIDS patients were told by doctors “there’s nothing we can do for you – you’re going to die” and the death was often long and drawn out and could include dementia, blindness, huge weight loss and the collapse of vital organs. I know, anecdotally and from press coverage at the time, that there were many suicides and mercy killings as partners and close friends desperately tried to do the best for eachother in dire circumstances. This was an era when even some nurses refused to tend AIDS patients and would leave food at the foot of their bed in hospital. Given this context, and the context of Ray’s moving admission (see the footage from the documentary on Youtube) and the fact that he did what he did as consequence of his love for a partner and a pact that they had made – and given the appalling alternatives – he deserves compassion and not a ridiculous hounding by the police as part of a PR campaign so that they look good. I remember many years ago hearing on BBC’s “Any Questions” an agony aunt (Claire Rayner, I think it was) who explained similarly how she had performed a mercy killing when she was a nurse. It was most moving. She was not ‘investigated by the police’ and neither should she have been.

  12. Omar Kuddus 16 Feb 2010, 3:48pm

    Earnest Hemingway once said ” The world is a fine place and worth fighting for”.
    To take poetic licence i am going to add so are LGBT rights and equality and we all deserve to be treated as Equal in the year 2010 despite what the laws are.
    The generation that finds it “acceptable” to be treated as a “criminal” for being humain, i am definite would not feel the same or not act unsympathetically if they were inthe same boat.
    I may fight for the rights of venerable / in-dangered LGBT’s word wide for their sexuality but i never forget that the freedom that we now enjoy was fought for and fought for with toil and discrimination and effort, and love compassion and understanding still has a long way to go before it is understood.
    I personaly would not like to have been in that position but love makes us do things outofthe norm.

  13. I’ve no doubt there will be plenty of people queueing up to quote “Thou shalt not kill” BUT I think there’s a world of difference between the intentional killing of someone who still has ‘potential’ and assisting someone who has absolutely no ‘potential’ to escape intolerable suffering.
    What Ray Gosling did was to perform one of the greatest possible acts of love and kindness.
    I hope the powers that be the good grace and common sense to investigate, as investigate they have to, with compassion.

  14. Gosling tells of honouring pact with his dying lover:

  15. I’d call it a case of ‘crime passionale’ at the time and it should be left at that. It may well have been a long time ago anyway before more modern treatments.
    I hope he’ll be left alone. Brave of him to ‘admit’ it and it adds to the debate over assisted dying- which I support in the ‘right’ circumstances.

  16. Doctors killed my grandfather in a act of mercy. They prescribed him such a high doses of morphine they knew the side effects of the drugs would kill him before he died of his bone cancer. It happens every day in the NHS, if Ray Gosling is guilty then so are most doctors.

    If I was in such a situation I would hope the same was done for me rather than let me suffer.

  17. Thank you Eddy for leading off the posts on this one with such a thoughtful and thought provoking post. Lets see where all this leads but interesting that we have had such an early post from Dr Peter Saunders about assisted dying. Why did he not mention his connections with the Christian Medical Fellowship and being Director of Care Not Killing?

    The arguments about assisted dying always get very emotional with opponents often painting worst case scenarios of greedy relatives and biblical texts. Again the point needs to be made that we have been told for years that we have the most wonderful legal system in the world and the House of Lords crammed with the finest brains in the country. So why should it be beyond the wit of them to devise a system with suitable safeguards to enable people WHO SO CHOOSE to make a dignified exit. I am not religious and do not want to suffer at the end of my life because religious objections prohibit me from making a decision about my own life.

  18. Gosling is legally safe, and he the Police know this: they are making professional gestures. Gosling has not revealed the identity of the dying man, the doctor, or the hospital, and is unlikely to do so. There is no basis for a prosecution. There very often isn’t even in cases where it is much easier to link the two people concerned.
    If Gosling’s account of his actions is accurate then he committed an unlawful killing. I think that this is clearly wrong, but he acted in compassion and probably in agony of conscience. Let him not be treated with condemnation.

  19. Mbosaramba 16 Feb 2010, 6:54pm

    “Earnest Hemingway once said ” The world is a fine place and worth fighting for”.”

    Ernest Hemingway was a stupid man, for sure, because he doesn’t understood that the world always is the terrible place in which countless sufferings of unfortunate humans occurred. However, it is worth to promote its improvement for the future of Mankind.

  20. Mbosaramba 16 Feb 2010, 7:14pm

    Mr. Riondo, I am really impressed by your unintelligence.

    Please, try to study some basics about U.K. law and its enforcement before you exposing your ignorance and low mental capabilities.

    Good luck!

  21. He did well, good for him. I hope this is part of the tide bringing some common sense into the law around dying. I wouldn’t at all care to fall into the ideological hands of the Christian Fellowship in my last hours.

    These killings at the very end of life are clearly not motivated by financial gain – it seems that the people who commit them are if anything more likely to be brave, loving and merciful. The religious lobby should deal with their own flock and keep their nose out for the rest of us – especially as many doctors are clearly perfectly comfortable with giving the means for assisted dying.

  22. As usual, people think with their hearts, not with their heads. I can understand the reason behind what Ray Gosling did, and I have the utmost respect for the man.

    But… If what he says can be proved in a court of law, he could go down for a long stretch. Emotions and moral dilemmas aside, he committed a crime, and he seems to have just let one almighty genie out of a bottle.

    Like I said in an earlier post about legal precedent, just because you think doing something is right, (if not lawful), it does not give you the right to break the law.

    I just hope Parliament will assess this awful matter long and hard and come to the right conclusions, without being brow-beaten by the church et al.

  23. Admitting what he did so publicly was amazingly brave. That’s all I can think of about this. Whether he was right or wrong, I’m not going to join in the debate. I feel a great deal of sympathy for him. He lost a lover and now he stands to lose everything else.

  24. Isn’t it just marvellous how Mbosaramba’s English has literally improved in a matter of days! Hours, even! Astounding progress, don;t you all agree? Yesterday he could barely conjugate a verb, and now, that last posting is practically native English speaking. Truly remarkable progress.

    Isn’t it great he’s learning so much from us gay people? We are a beacon of enlightenment for the dumb and illiterate cretins like poor retarded little Mbosaramba. Doesn’t it just warm you inside?

  25. I admire Ray’s courage. He did the right thing. I wish I thought I would have had the guts to do the same.

  26. Not giving my name for this one 16 Feb 2010, 10:41pm

    In common with the 2nd commenter on here I had a friend who died aged 24 weighing 4.5 stone, his whole body shutting down due to the ravages of AIDS. The klast few weeks especially were awful for him and for us to watch him go trough because he knew what was coming and we knew there was nothing we could do to stop it.

    He too had a morphine driver syringe on which the dosage was increased as he slipped further from life. It was the one thing we could do for him that could offer the slightest relief from the horror. Everyone involved, medical professionals included, knew that when he lost conciousness in the last few days he wouldn’t get it back. His quality of life was zero with no hope of improvement and only pain ahead.

    If that syringe was turned up too fast or too high we’ll never be sure, but we do know that when it was, his laboured breathing eased and he was more restful. If trying to ease the pain killed him a few days or hours before the cruel illness would have taken him then so what? If a crime was committed, what one was it?

    I wish religious types would live by their conciences and let those who don’t share their views live by theirs. Considering whether upping the morphine dose to speed the ineveitable would displease ‘God’ was not relevent to the decisons we took. If I belived in a God I would hope that a 24 year old man would not be allowed, in God’s creastion, to die in such an horrific way.

    We need an intelligent debate in this country about just such assisted deaths and Ray Gosling is brave to share this experience with the world when he didn’t have to.

    I have chosen not to give my name as this subject is so sensitive and some here are unable to hold intelligent debates, choosing instead to fling about wild accusations and perosnal attacks.

  27. RobN writes:

    “Like I said in an earlier post about legal precedent, just because you think doing something is right, (if not lawful), it does not give you the right to break the law.”

    Erm, gay sex before 1967?

  28. Kate: Precisely. And now it’s come back to bite some people in the arse 50 years later.

    A crime is a crime.

  29. Mbosaramba 17 Feb 2010, 1:04am

    To: “Not giving my name for this one”.

    You are a coward! I freely give my name here and I don’t care if anybody dislike and even became crazy in relation to my views.

    Nobody shall have right to murder any human being. Period. If someone wish to kill himself, he is an insane person, a psychiatric individual. That’s simple.

    In my view if someone are fearing of his death – he is stupid and very ignorant person. There nothing awful to die because it is just turning off the consciousness forever. What’s wrong with it? Nothing, absolutely nothing. In fact, it is very natural and the end of individual presence in the world. There no reason to fear it, no reason to desire it.

    I also think that intolerance to any pain is very childish. Any pain is just physical reaction and real man must not to get hysterical and stay calm with full control of his emotions and reactions.

    I deeply despise all cowards, regardless their sexual status and “orientation”. Real man must stand above any fear of death and any pain.

  30. Mbosaramba (comment 29)”I don’t care if anybody dislike and even became crazy in relation to my views”.

    I have no doubt of that. I have read your various comments here and they display so few signs of sanity, rationality or compassion I imagine the rest of the human race is something of an annoying mystery to you. Your comments on how a ‘real man’ faces death give a huge hint.

    If we ever see you hit by a truck we’ll know to leave you lying there. No-one would want to offend you by calling an ambulance to help relieve your predicament. That would be hysterical and childish in the face of the pain you’d be so stoically facing. Plus it would save the taxpayer a few quid.
    That would be difficult though. how would weknow it was you lying there as we only have a one-word name to go by. If Mbosaramba is really what’s on your birth certificate then fine. Otherwise you’d do well to appreciate you’re also using a psuedonym and have no grounds to criticise anyone else for how they choose to sign themselves off.

  31. On the BBC website it says Ray Gosling has been arrested.

  32. Mbosaramba: “In my view if someone are fearing of his death – he is stupid and very ignorant person. There nothing awful to die because it is just turning off the consciousness forever. What’s wrong with it?”

    If you really believe this, why don’t you practically demonstrate your opinion, do us all a favour and go take a long walk off a short pier?

  33. Nice suggestion from you, Rob, as usual. May I suggest you jump in after him!

  34. Mbosaramba:
    The Police and the CPS are covering their backs. Watch this space: there is no basis for a prosecution here in any system based on the presumption of innocence. No conviction could be delivered, let alone sustained, on non-information like this; and there seems little prospect of getting more.
    Pay a little more mind to Anglosaxon jurisprudence before accusing others of ignorance of it or indulging in gratuitous personal insults. And judging by other posts you have left here, your empathy for human suffering is as abysmal as your manners.

  35. Mbosaramba 17 Feb 2010, 2:49pm

    I am glad that murderer, Ray Gosling, is arrested and my prediction was correct. Soon will be the trial and consequently – prison term. I’d be very happy to observe this later on. Absolutely!

    I am impressed how many stupid gays on this forum feel sorry for the murderer, how they “understand” the murderer… I am sure they would be happy to follow up the conduct of the murderer and become his collegians in the crime of murder.

    That’s just one more time indicating the fact of the criminal mentality which is prevalent in gay population. I don’t like to see such fact, but nothing could be done about such fact at the current time.

    I clearly comprehend what compassion REALLY is. I am not just talking of compassion (as most stupid gays very often doing here). I do PRACTICING it on daily basis and saving really suffering human beings from hunger, from diseases, from poverty, from homelessness and desperation. Just recently I saved one soul from hunger and secured his regular food on the daily basis. That’s compassion IN FACT. That’s not the virtual compassion of fake gay-moralists on this site. That’s the difference.

    Also I do see the fact of animosity and death-wish toward my person from fake gay-moralists. “Nick” — February 17, 2010 @ 2:04 and “RobN” — February 17, 2010 @ 11:49 is perfect examples of such debased creatures. Nothing is strange, indeed. Just one more example of false moralization, false humanism of gays, especially in the bloody Great Britain…

  36. Mbosaramba, as I read somewhere else just now . . . you’re just a troll. Nobody’s fooled. Nobody’s taking you seriously. Game’s up. Get lost.

  37. Mbosaramba 17 Feb 2010, 5:31pm

    To: Mr. Eddy.

    First, if you are addressing someone, you must address by saying Mister. If you don’t, then you are just lowest degenerative creature which has no culture and no civilized mind.

    Second, you are one of many trolls on this site, as I am observing the names here for several months already. That’s the fact which is confirmed by several other individuals by the way.

    Third, you and some other trolls on this site very often calling your opponent as “troll”, because you don’t have any argument and no courage to face the truth, and because you, as several of your gay-associates are void of any capability to be decent and keep the intelligent discussion.

    Fourth, I never have been a troll. I am expressing my opinions and critique, but I am not trolling in any instance.

    Fifth, your statement in my regard is nothing else but the slander. Consequently, you are a scoundrel.

  38. Paul Norris 17 Feb 2010, 9:45pm

    and you, Mr. Mbosaramba, are a twat!

  39. “Fifth, your statement in my regard is nothing else but the slander. Consequently, you are a scoundrel.”

    And sixth, Mbosaramba, you’re probably another one of the endless stream of closet case homosexual nut-job, with nothing better to do but get a cheap thrill on a gay site. Well done. Your mother must be soooo proud of you!

    “Scoundrel”… LOL! Who uses language like this any more? “Fancy a tipple in the parlour, while we bugger that young filly, old chap?”

  40. Exactly, Will. He’s just some old fool troll out to try and inflame. A sort of very very obvious RobN.

  41. Eddy, methinks Mbosaramba’s outlandish statements are borne out of impotence, ignorance and what seems to be a debilitating mental illness…

    …but I sure can’t wait until you’re served with a court notice for your “slander” trial!!!! Wooooo, are you scared, Eddy? LOL!

    Ah, Mbosaramba… you childish histrionics and outlandish outbursts gives me a really good giggle…. you’re one of my favourite idiots on this site! Bravo! Now go play in the sand to reward yourself, there’s a good freak…

  42. Will, if only RobN would get the message as easily!

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