Television presenter Ray Gosling has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the BBC ran a segment where the 70-year-old confessed to smothering his lover who was suffering from AIDS. He starts the segment by saying that he wanted to reveal his secret: “I killed someone.”
Gosling portrayed the act as part of a pack to act if his lover’s suffering became too great. In the interview, Gosling said “It’s a terrible situation. I loved him to bits. . . We had a pact – he said if the pain gets bad and if nothing can be done, don’t let him linger on. . . I don’t think it’s a crime.” It is a crime and Gosling gave more details saying “I said to the doctor: ‘Leave me… just for a bit,’ and he went away.
“I picked up the pillow and smothered him until he was dead. The doctor came back and I said: ‘He’s gone.’ Nothing more was ever said. . . .When you love someone, it is difficult to see them suffer.”
It is a case where the mitigating circumstances should carry considerable weight, but prosecutors feel compelled to prosecute to avoid having individuals decide such questions. This type of horrible scene would not occur if assisted suicide were legal and available in such cases. Of course, this type of pact is probably quite common and doctors look the other way. Gosling made it an issue by being honest, but perhaps it will get people to think about the issue of the right to assisted suicide.
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