Ed Team

Ray Gosling talks about mercy killing

Filed By Ed Team | February 17, 2010 7:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Quote of the Day
Tags: assisted suicide, HIV/AIDS, ray gosling

"Maybe this is the time to share a secret that I have kept for quite a long time. I killed someone once. He was a young chap, he'd been my lover and he got Aids. In a hospital one hot afternoon, the doctor said 'There's nothing we can do', and he was in terrible, terrible pain. 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. We'd got an agreement, if it got worse, the pain, and nobody could do anything. He was in terrible pain, I was there and I saw it. It breaks you into pieces."

--UK TV personality Ray Gosling on his mercy killing. He's been arrested and isn't disclosing the name of the man he claims to have killed

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Generally I support voluntary euthanasia under such circumstances --- including making it legal, such as the Oregon Death With Dignity Act that was passed by referendum in 1994.

But I can't imagine bringing a loved one to such an end by suffocating them with a pillow! If the doctor was that cool about it, the proper thing to have done would have been to ask the doctor to administer an overdose of morphine.

That is just brutal! And how do we know the guy who died wanted that? And like the other commenter said, if you really were doing it, a pillow to the face does not seem very humane!

Euthanasia was the high school debate topic for teams throughout California in 1957. It was of course a very abstract argument for 16 & 17 year olds at the time. I concluded it might be suitable only for very elderly however as a debater I fought effectively and unemotionally both pro & con sides. I moved on and forgot about that extracurricular activity until the 1980’s when first one then another friend was at the brink of death. They would often be “saved” with oxygen forced into their systems while the painfully loud machine announced “air in… air out”. The hospitals loved the extension of life, which translated into dollars. With our current medical capabilities we may maintain life indefinitely so society is again asked to determine the ethical break off point. Individuals might make advanced plans via trusts, etc. to allow end of life plans. My partner & I have done so.

The Justice system has the same laws on the books as in the 1950’s and will continue to prosecute in a Borg like fashion until better laws are crafted. It is still against the law to help with life ending actions.

From about 1984 to 1994 there were employed a wide variety of methods to accomplish pain termination. One friend simply shot himself. A decidedly more colorful friend had what he called his Liberace ring that snapped open revealing a hidden chamber where powerful drugs could be hidden. Did he mix the contents of the secret chamber with his hospital applesauce? We speculated. Oddly he insisted he have no visitors the day he died. We celebrated his release from pain. We threw confetti and played Streisand songs so loud the neighbors called the police. He would have been delighted! His family had another service with sad organ music but they didn’t really know him!

Ray Gosling employed a pillow. I’m sure I would have great difficulty with that but I’m sure he was crying tears of both pain and mercy.