Page last updated at 13:29 GMT, Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Ray Gosling's death confession: Your comments

A graveyard

A broadcaster for the BBC's Inside Out programme has admitted that he smothered his ailing lover to spare him from "terrible pain".

Police are investigating Ray Gosling who said he had a pact with the deceased man to act if his suffering increased.

During a documentary on death and dying, the Nottingham film-maker said: "I killed someone once. He'd been my lover and he got Aids."

Hundreds of people having been emailing the BBC with their experiences and thoughts about what Mr Gosling did. Below is a broad range of the comments.


e-mail sent in by reader

I had to watch my father slowly die in great pain with cancer last year and at the end, if I could have stopped his suffering and total agony in any way, I would have.

Only those who have had to stand by and watch a loved one go through that hell have any right to say anything.

I feel Ray Gosling was very brave in coming forward and telling others what everyone in his situation has felt like doing but didn't have the courage to follow things through.

If you were to let an animal suffer in total pain caused by terminal illness the law would consider it criminal. The law needs to be changed now.
Darren, Nottingham

e-mail sent in by reader

I think it's appalling that in a modern caring society, loved ones and relatives are forced into having to take these steps.

You would not let a dog suffer at the end of it's natural life, but neither would you expect the dog's owner to have to kill their pet themselves because the vet refused to.

Why do we insist on letting people suffer?
Paul, Southampton

e-mail sent in by reader

My father passed away recently after 7 months of paralysis following a massive stroke. I'm shamed to say it was a relief coupled with despair.

During that time he could not move nor communicate in any way. If he had somehow asked me to kill him I really don't know what I would have done.

His quality of life could not have been very good at all and yet there way one obvious moment of pure joy as his wife, my brother and I walked into the ward to visit him.

I had never seen anything quite like it from him before or after. Who is to say I should have denied him that moment.

However, in hindsight, something one of the doctors in A&E said rings true, "… it would have been better if the stroke had killed him outright..."
Ian, Arlesey

e-mail sent in by reader

Ray has always struck me as a wonderfully caring and gentle man.

I understand and sympathise and I guess it's one of those times when justice hangs not on the deed but on the nature of the man.

I wish him well.
Peter Yates, Warrington

e-mail sent in by reader

Good for him. I hope that if I am in pain and misery, someone will love me enough to kill me.

In an ideal world, this should not be necessary, but we all know that there are many cases where mercy killing is by far the most humane solution.
Laurence, Oxford

e-mail sent in by reader

I'm undecided on assisted suicide and mercy killing. However I think Ray has lived with his secret a long time and is seeking either redemption or closure or maybe both. It seems to me he did not kill a man that was in the healthy prime of his life but a man who was dying, who was in pain and whom he loved. Unless there is anything else Ray does not sound a threat to society. It needs investigation for the sake of a just society. I wish Ray and his late partner peace.
Anji, Stevenage

e-mail sent in by reader

What Ray Gosling did was premeditated murder even if there was a so-called pact. He chose to play God and that was wrong.
John, UK

e-mail sent in by reader

I watched the interview on Breakfast this morning. While having some sympathy for Mr Gosling, I came to the conclusion that he did not have clear and unambiguous instruction from the victim that he wanted to be killed at that time. From Mr Gosling's account, he seems to have taken the decision to kill the victim, asked the doctor to leave the room, killed the victim, and then failed to tell the doctor or the police that he had in fact killed him. He seems to have no regrets today. It seems as clear a case of premeditated murder as there can be, and personal anguish surely is not a defence. There are many mitigating circumstances, but I think there is a clear public interest to prosecute. Even if euthanasia is a good thing, this is not a good way to carry it out.
E Hui, London

e-mail sent in by reader

I can empathise with Ray, having seen many many friends die a sometimes slow and very painful death from Aids. I intervened with someone very dear to me, in that I asked for medication to be stopped because he had had enough. He realised that there was nothing left and his time was coming. Trust me, it is their relief at the end!

If animals are in pain do we not assist in their deaths by having them put down? They are given a more dignified end than we humans are! Rays lover will have been grateful.
John, Hampshire

Ray Gosling on Inside Out

e-mail sent in by reader

If I was in pain, then it would be awful to have to carry on with no hope, and would really want the system to allow me to be put out of my misery, and will do everything to make that happen.
Norman, Bristol

e-mail sent in by reader

Personally, I'd like to say well done to Ray Gosling for standing to his beliefs and the pact he made to his dear friend.

I think it's about time this country came to live in the 21st century. We seem to treat animals better than we treat humans in this country, if an animal is suffering we take the animal to a vet to be put to sleep, to stop it suffering yet we leave human beings suffer in so much pain when there is nothing more that can be done for them

Surely it should be up to the individuals to make up their own minds what they want to do in these circumstances?

My thoughts and prayers are with Mr Gosling, his family and friends.
David Jones, Neath

e-mail sent in by reader

If his lover was terminally ill and was near the end of their life, all he did was shorten their agony. Calling it murder would be ridiculous and if prosecuted would be yet another example of the madness in our justice system.
Bob, London

e-mail sent in by reader

The man should be arrested and charged with murder, for that is still the law. His reasons for murdering should be taken into account, of course, should there be a guilty verdict.
Steve, Wycombe

e-mail sent in by reader

If the doctors are happy to turn a blind eye then the police should be too: let them get on with important things like actually tackling Britain's criminals instead of wasting everyone's time pursuing this sort of case. Ray has clearly already suffered enough, and any form of "punishment" would be as irrelevant as it would be distasteful. I'd certainly want my wife to do the same for me when my time comes. Does Ray look like some sort of serial killer from whom society needs to be safeguarded? Exactly.
Iain, Dubai, UAE

e-mail sent in by reader

Ray Gosling made a very hard decision not to let the person he loved suffer any more than he had to and he has lived with his decision which cannot of been easy. As someone who has cared for terminal patients, I have seen immeasurable suffering even when patients are on strong painkillers.

If these people were our pets we would not let them suffer, we would take the kindness course and end their suffering in the most humane way possible.

So then why as a society do we make humans suffer needlessly? The police should let this 70 year old man alone and we should applaud his courage.

If I were ever in that situation I would wish I could have his courage and fortitude but I know that I wouldn't.
Simone, South West Scotland

Ray Gosling on TV

e-mail sent in by reader

I feel for Ray. It must have been awful for him to see someone whom he loved suffer like that. But saying that he committed a crime by killing someone is wrong, no matter what the circumstances. I just hope the law looks at this with some compassion and understanding
Rainer Teichert, Poole

e-mail sent in by reader

Who was Gosling helping, his lover or himself?

My wife passed away last month after 50 years of a glorious marriage. The pain and suffering she endured in the last twelve months was heartbreaking to observe. The mental and physical cost to me in caring for her during this period has yet to show itself.

On many occasions she said she wanted to die but we battled on together (yes, together is the operative word) until all hope was gone and she passed away peacefully in a hospice.

I don't know if Gosling feels any guilt. I do. My guilt is that I was unable to save her. I will never forgive myself for letting her down.
Bill, Northampton

e-mail sent in by reader

I wish Mr Gosling all the best. I hope that common sense prevails and he faces no criminal charges. Mr Gosling took one of the hardest decisions imaginable. He had courage to do something for a loved one that I am sure will have haunted him for the rest of his life. I applaud his honesty in discussing it now.
Alistair, Nottingham

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