Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dignity in Dying proves that it lives in the same fantasy world as Ray Gosling

Last Februay 16, Ray Gosling, a British reporter admitted on a BBC program that he had killed his gay lover many years earlier and then stated he had "no regrets."

Link to the newsweek article about the story: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/02/18/the-compassionate-killers.html

Last week we learned that Ray Gosling has now admitted that he made up the story. He admitted that he never killed a gay lover. He stated that his story got out-of-control.

Link to an article on Ray Gosling's lie: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/aug/20/ray-gosling-charged-partner-aids

Now for the reason for this blog comment. George Pitcher wrote an excellent comment on this issue that was published in the Telegraph on August 20. I thought it was thought provoking and worth republishing.

Dignity in Dying proves that it lives in the same fantasy world as Ray Gosling

When veteran documentary-maker Ray Gosling fessed up mawkishly in a BBC documentary last February to smothering a gay lover some 20 years ago, I wrote here that I didn’t believe a word of it. It never rang true and, frankly, it was very odd that the BBC should broadcast his confession just ahead of the new prosecution guidelines on assisted suicide being published by the Director of Public Prosecutions. Now it emerges that the DPP is prosecuting Gosling for wasting police time, a six-month investigation having concluded that he made the whole thing up.

Anyone with any sense was highly sceptical of Gosling’s overtired and emotional claims at the time. But not so pro-euthanasia lobby group Dignity in Dying. Its chief executive, Sarah Wootton, was keen to milk Gosling’s story for all it was worth and had this to say in the wake of his “revelations”:

“The law is out of step with what society needs and wants. This case yet again demonstrates that this is a real and present problem, which can affect us all. Crucially, Ray Gosling’s loved one was terminally ill and clearly asked for help to die when he was suffering unbearably at the end of his life.This illustrates a need for formal assisted dying legislation to help those who want choice at the end of life, as well as protect people who may be vulnerable to coercion.”

Or, alternatively, this case shows no such thing because it was all made up.

Meanwhile, Jo Cartwright, Dignity in Dying’s press officer let it be known In The Independent that Gosling “was just one of many people in Britain living with the consequences of helping someone to die, often suffering higher rates of psychological damage and suicide” and echoed Wootton by adding solemnly:

“This highlights that there is an issue and a real and present problem with people having to get involved in the end of their loved one’s lives. But if you had safeguarded assisted dying, friends and families would not have to go through this. A retrospective police investigation would be pointless.”

Not as pointless, presumably, as a police investigation into something that never happened, but which Ms Cartwright swallows whole and believes “highlights that there is an issue and a real and present problem.”

So red faces all round at Dignitas in Dying. Of course the BBC should have checked that there was some validity in poor Gosling’s claims before airing them and that just shows how slack is the Corporation’s standards of verification when it comes to its support for one of its ultra-liberalising causes, such as euthanasia and assisted suicide.

But as for Dignity in Dying…well, if hard cases make bad law, invented cases should obviously not make law at all. This case was as fabricated as as its “stringent conditions” for assisted suicide, its ludicrous distinctions between “assisted dying” and euthanasia and its ridiculous claims that “helping people to die” will in some way protect the weak and vulnerable. But Dignity in Dying evidently will jump on any bandwagon, however absurd, to achieve its aims.

Meanwhile, the medical and legal professions, as well as the police and the legislature, deal with the real world. And Gosling, Wootton, Dignity in Dying and the rest of the cull-the-dying mob should be put in a corner somewhere safe with their fantasies, to protect the rest of us.

Link to George Pitcher's comment in the Telegraph: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/georgepitcher/100051146/dignity-in-dying-proves-that-it-lives-in-the-same-fantasy-world-as-ray-gosling/

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