Comments

  1. Jay says

    Holy Shit! Murder has no statute of limitations. He must be out of his mind for admitting this to a reporter. I understand why he did it and I feel his sympathy but that is irrelevant in the eyes of the law. Oh my goodness is all there is left to say.

  2. brad says

    without consent, this man had probably brought a great deal of projection and his own baggage to the situation, and indulged his revulsion to the horror of aids just as much as he acted out of compassion. yeah, that’s probably murder.

  3. Zach says

    “Some [of the man’s family] know, some don’t. It’s best that way. Let it be.”

    Well, they’ll all know now, won’t they?

    I’m sorry, but I can’t regard this as anything else but murder, unless the patient requested that someone end his suffering. I am in complete support of voluntary euthanasia, but not this.

  4. Nick says

    What a generation gap we have today. Those of us who remember and lived through and survived the horror of AIDS and those it never touched either hiding from it in the suburbs or being too young to remember.

    At the end of life, we are kinder to our companion animals than we are to our human loved ones.

  5. JeffNYC says

    Some of us have every idea, David. Don’t be condescending.

    For this guy to confess on television and, in the same breath, say “Let it be” to the relatives who didn’t know shows that he is a lunatic.

    Whether you think it is right or wrong to put someone out his misery, the one thing we should agree on is that, if you do, you obey a code of silence. You certainly DON’T go on television for an over-dramatic mea culpa.

    He’s now admitted murder. Let the law decided. I hope he hasn’t gotten that poor doctor in trouble.

  6. Zach says

    “At the end of life, we are kinder to our companion animals than we are to our human loved ones.”

    Animals are not people, and it’s not about being ‘kind’ in this case. It’s about respect for human individuality. We make all sorts of decisions for our pets that we do not – and should not – make for other people. If his lover requested his life be ended – fine. I would fully support such an action. But for him to make that decision on his own is murder, and he should answer for it.

  7. rextrek says

    …well I think considering the “times” with NO REAL meds …the man WAS suffering ..esp. IF the Drs said there was NOTHING else they could do……sounds to me, that he Loved this man, and did not want him to suffer another minute…..I say – “Let it Go”..if he is to do anything – let him wrk with AIDS patients…throwing him in Jail serves NO purpose now!

  8. Christopher says

    Oh David shut the fuck up. Who do you think read this blog? Of course we know. And that’s why we are better able than anyone to tell if his story is plausible or not. For me, the fact that he doesn’t ever mention what his friend wanted, whether he was conscious or not, whether he gave consent or wasn’t capable of doing so speaks volumes.

  9. JeffRob says

    Yeah, he has obviously suffered some mental illness to just casually go admitting that on camera, unless he sincerely believes he has nothing left to lose, which is possible.

    I thought he was gonna say he pulled a plug or something, but smothered with a pillow….jeez. I would never suggest that I understand what losing a loved one is like, and I fully support euthanasia, but jeezuschrist smothered with a pillow?! Doesn’t exactly seem like euthanasia.

  10. Zach says

    ” Those of us who remember and lived through and survived the horror of AIDS and those it never touched either hiding from it in the suburbs or being too young to remember.”

    And I may never have lived through the worst of AIDS, but I have watched people I love succumb to cancer, spending their last few months in agonizing pain. Being in the midst of AIDS doesn’t make it more permissible to murder someone.

  11. Paul says

    Yesterday I was reading the electronic version of the Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco) and noticed that they had archived all their obituaries going back to 1979. So I started going back and rereading the obits of friends and loved ones who died over the past 25+ years. I remembered each and every one; how young, handsome, and vibrant they had all been, and how we watched as that horrible illness slowly drained them first of their dignity and ultimately their lives. IMHO, what Gosling did was not a crime, but he should’ve just kept quiet about it

  12. matt says

    In another segment from the interview he mentions a pact between he and his partner. It is posted at queerty.com.

    I agree that the public confession seems awkward and certainly opens him up to a lot of questions but I don’t think any of you should judge unless you’ve been in a similar situation. At the height of the epidemic there wasn’t anything that could be done and death was slow and painful.

    We need to have more discussion of end of life issues. Immediately labeling him a murderer doesn’t help.

  13. Sean says

    It is incumbent upon those of us who survived these last 25 years to educate those who came after about what it was like and that Gosling, I’m certain isn’t alone in his guilt.

    We neglected to do that job, therefore we get comments like “…but I have watched people I love succumb to cancer, spending their last few months in agonizing pain.”

    It’s not the fault of those who weren’t there, it’s ours for not telling them about the horror. The responsibility for these comments is ours for not explaining what it’s like to bury someone every week of every year for years on end.

    Gosling, it’s obvious, has been wracked with guilt for a long time, but his admission seems ill-considered.

    There were 9 of us in my little circle of friends. I am the only one left. When that came to be I was 34. That was 18 years ago.

    Live with that.

  14. niles says

    This was quite common back in the early years of AIDS. I’m sure there are a lot of folks still around who are carrying this same burden. I don’t believe it was murder considering the circumstances, however it is something that probably should be taken to the grave.

  15. Kári Emil says

    I don’t think euthanasia necessarily has to be wrong. Of course, it can be awkward, if the person has not expressed what they want and are unable to. But in this case it seems this was already something they had decided they would do for each other. I don’t know… Telling everyone like this might be a bit… iffy? But at the same time, he is opening up a topic that does not come up a lot but it should.

  16. ant says

    David Ehrenstein is exactly right – you folks calling him a murderer really have no idea what it takes to do what this man did – the love and compassion and heroism required for this act of devotion. You should hope you are never in a position to find out.

  17. Will says

    “…well I think considering the “times” with NO REAL meds”
    “At the height of the epidemic there wasn’t anything that could be done”

    While it’s true that there was not any therapy for HIV/AIDS, remember that this was the 1980’s, not the 1580’s, and there was a great deal available in terms of pain management and alleviation. The young man’s suffering probably could have been alleviated without smothering him to death.

  18. niles says

    Proper medical care including pain meds and assistance were not available to many during this time. Remember that patients were shunned not only by society but by the medical establishment as well. When the patients did die, it was even difficult to find a funeral home willing to take them.

  19. Guest says

    Regardless of whether he acted appropriately 20 years ago – and that is the most significant question – what does he think he is accomplishing by so casually, and in such a matter-of-fact manner, talking about this now in this forum? Reflects a lack of regard for the feelings of his lover’s family and fails to treat his lover’s passing as the somber, sacred moment it was. It’s as if he was talking about brushing his teeth.

  20. davii says

    I am sorry for this man. I feel like he is feeling all this guilt and just can’t do it anymore. I honestly don’t feel he should be charged for murder, but…isn’t that what this is? I know this man loved him unlike that which many of us have ever known (it makes you do some unbelievable things); why would he come forward with this? Obviously he knows the impartiality of the law, the importance of that impartiality is paramount and must be maintained. So, give him what he wants…?

    God, what of the man’s family? What a tragedy.

  21. Dennis says

    Has this site been invaded by a bunch of christianist pro-lifers or something? Seriously WTF?!

    Prior to the HIV cocktail drugs and similar, having end-stage AIDS was one of the most gruesome, awful ways to die. No immune system left, and having multiple diseases attacking your body all at once (cancers, plus pneumonia, plus cytomeglavirus, plus, plus) etc…pain, dementia, and little that can be done for treatment, with even less chance of recovery.

    The man said he and his former lover had an agreement, and, um…you weren’t there(!), so all of this ‘murderer’ judgement is ridiculous! This sounds like a total mercy situation to me, and assisted suicides/mercy ‘killings’ happen all the time in our hospitals…

    May none of you ever experience such suffering and illness, but if you do, may you be fortunate enough to have (an agreed upon) someone assist you to put an end your misery, unless you are frigging moron masochist.

  22. Joe in MD says

    As someone who lost my husband to AIDS, I have a great sympathy for this gentleman and what he endured with his loss. So many on here are so quick to judge and condemn this poor man without having any idea what dying from AIDS entails. My husband suffered from toxo which is a very slow painful death. We were both Catholic and would never consider euthanasia as an option as it is a mortal sin, however, if the circumstances where different and we had to relive this event, I’m not so sure we would repeat many of our decisions. I agree with Dave, he is not being condescending, when he wrote that you have no idea because fortunately many of you don’t as you never had to live through the horrors of those many years of the Regan genocide.

  23. Distingue Traces says

    David Ehrenstein wrote:
    “You people have no idea.”

    Yes, let’s all harken to the hard-earned wisdom of David Ehrenstein, the only person on Towleroad to have lived through the eighties and early nineties.

  24. Joe in MD says

    As someone who lost my husband to AIDS, I have a great sympathy for this gentleman and what he endured with his loss. So many on here are so quick to judge and condemn this poor man without having any idea what dying from AIDS entails. My husband suffered from toxo which is a very slow painful death. We were both Catholic and would never consider euthanasia as an option as it is a mortal sin, however, if the circumstances where different and we had to relive this event, I’m not so sure we would repeat many of our decisions. I agree with Dave, he is not being condescending, when he wrote that you have no idea because fortunately many of you don’t as you never had to live through the horrors of those many years of the Regan genocide.

  25. says

    My long-time partner is in late-stage HIV disease (all the meds are failing him now).

    My partner asked me when we put our cat to sleep, “Why do we treat animals better than humans? Why can’t I just go to sleep like that when it is my time instead of suffering?”

    We have talked about end of life and I promised him that, if needed, I’d take care of him at the end, as did Gosling.

    While I hope that I don’t need to do this, I will if necessary to honor my commitment and love to my partner of almost 30 years.

    Unless you are there or have been there, you can’t possibly understand.

    Murder to some, mercy to others.

    Me, I see it as mercy…so does my very ill partner.

  26. rick says

    Grow up everyone.

    This happens all the time and especially back then. It’s just not discussed. I had to disconnect my lover 20 years ago. The medical personnel did it for me when I requested it. What’s the difference?

    (Irony dept: my lover was a physician and the people who suggested I request the disconnect was his family.)

  27. alfredo zapata says

    This is why we need full marriage rights, so that these issues and directives can be discussed and adhered to. Caring for someone with HIV in the ’80s was no picnic. And teaching the young people of today? Most of them are too distracted to even care.

  28. says

    I use to beg God every night to kill me when I was very ill. My mom was taking care of me and I would tell her I couldn’t take it anymore all the time. What if she had listened to me and smothered me? Okay, some people can’t really see an issue with that , I know. But, I lived and went on to devoting my life to helping the LGBT community get Equality. I know the medical times were different, but, this is murder, plain and simple. If he feels strongly enough to confess it, he has to be willing to pay any price that may come his way.

    I do feel sorry that he was even put in that situation. It was sort of selfish of his lover to put him in a role like that just like it was selfish of me to ask God to kill me.

  29. says

    I would support medically-assisted suicide, but not pillow-assisted murder.

    Unless someone’s written down how they want to be treated in the end (and I don’t think many people have written “If I’m in pain, I want to be strangled with a pillow”) treatment should be left to the doctor and whoever has medical consent. Pull someone off life support if they’re in pain, by all means, but don’t strangle them with a pillow.

    I feel very badly for the guy and what he must have been going through, but that was just the wrong, wrong, wrong decision.

  30. Mr. E says

    Will, you sound as if you’ve never suffered pain. I hope you never do, because you have no idea what it’s like to suffer pain that no doc or ‘pain management’ will alleviate. Even today. NO idea.

  31. TANK says

    Your mother didn’t smother you, derek…literally. Good, that’s healthy.

    I wonder if the pillows were dirty… I can understand getting smothered with a pillow, but with dirty pillows? Pass.

  32. matt says

    Wow. I am shocked and saddened that so few have any real comprehension of what the plague years of the 80s were like. But, I guess that comes from losing an entire generation of gay men. Sad.

    “And The Band Played On” should be required reading for all gay men.

  33. David B. 2 says

    bet he feels it is time to pay his bills (psychically speaking) and that he may be in his own end of life situation (where prosecution would be unlikely)

  34. Apostle Shada Mishe says

    Ambush

    My name is Simon and I am a 29 year old male. I first discovered that I was HIV Positive in June of 2009. Three weeks earlier I had gone to a local health center for testing and I was negative. The following week I applied for life insurance and was denied because my test results came back positive. When I received my results, for some reason I was calm. Instead of searching for treatments, I immediately went online to search for the cure – that’s when I ran across the youtube.com presentation of Apostle Shada Mishe. I immediately e-mailed him and he asked me some very basic information: my name, viral load, and age. When I e-mailed him this information, he invited me to come to his home in Toronto to get some Ambush. Ambush was the cure that the Apostle was presenting on youtube.com. The Apostle said that Ambush kills HIV/AIDS completely in 21 days. I didn’t have a passport at the time, and I live in the U.S., so the Apostle gave me an open invitation and told me to contact him when I was ready to come.

    I traveled to see the Apostle on the 4th of July. Before I left, I sent him a final e-mail asking him if I needed to bring anything and he replied, “just you.” I arrived at the Apostle’s home very early in the morning, in fact, he was still asleep. Nevertheless, when he answered the door, he greeted me with a big hug and said, “hello my son.” He explained to me that he needed a little more time to finish making the Ambush, so I sat. He then bought in a pan of water and a towel and asked me to take off my socks, and then he washed my feet. He then anointed me from head to feet in oil, as he prayed with me. We sat for hours and talked about almost everything: the state of the world, religion, sex, family, goals, etc. He informed me that from that point on he was my father and there was nothing that I should feel I couldn’t tell him.

    Once the Ambush was ready, the Apostle bought some to me in a small glass. He took a sip first then told me to drink it. Surprisingly, it had a pleasant taste – like tea with ginger. He told me to drink it three times daily for the next three weeks. He packaged it in a bottle and gave it to me. Before I left his home, he told me to put my hands on this huge slab of marble. He put his hands on it too and then he prayed for me. I immediately felt a spirit of peace.

    For the next three weeks I took the recommended dosage of Ambush. The Apostle also told me to take a daily vitamin supplement with it. In the first week I felt no change. In the second week I felt very sluggish, nauseated and I noticed that my hair was thinning rapidly. I felt like I was going through chemotherapy. This was a direct contrast to how the Apostle told me I would feel. He said that I would have more energy, my skin would look better and I would feel healthier than I had in a long time. I never stopped taking the Ambush, but I communicated my concerns to the Apostle through e-mail. Each time I e-mailed him, he immediately responded, answering all of my questions and coddling my fears.

    I went and got blood work after I completed taking the Ambush. It took a few months for me to go back because I was scared. I knew what I had prayed for and what the Apostle had told me, but if this didn’t work, I would have to face the fact that I would die from AIDS. In early October, I got my test results back. My doctor informed me that he was expecting my viral load to be in the double digit thousands because I had recently contracted the disease, but it came back at 69! This was outstanding. I called the Apostle and we talked over the phone and rejoiced. He told me to come back to see him before I got tested again. I did. He gave me another three week supply of Ambush. On December 21, 2009 I was diagnosed as undetectable. That was the best Christmas present that I could have received.

    I am telling my story because there are millions of people infected with HIV/ AIDS. There is a cure! I paid nothing for Ambush and no one has paid me to write this story. This information is pure fact. My hope is that someone with the power to manufacture this cure will read this story, so that thousands of people will stop suffering and dying needlessly of this disease each year. There is hope and I have found it in Ambush and Apostle Shada Mishe.

    Article Submitted on January 1, 2010 by Simon T.

    THE CURE for HIV/AIDS…….AMBUSH

    THE IDEA that AMBUSH cures AIDS
    is being proven by the more than 400 individuals who have taken a dose of 60 ml three times daily for 21 days. The result is that AMBUSH ‘KILLS’ the virus by causing the protein envelope to rupture and the viral particles are discarded by the white blood cells. AMBUSH is able to ‘KILL’ the virus that are ‘hiding’ in the lymph system by its ‘natural radioactive’ properties. This process allows the body to ‘return to normal health’ with a corresponding immunity to that or those strains of the virus.

    What is AMBUSH ?
    AMBUSH is a radioactive isotope of uranium that is found in the ‘palm’ plant of which there are more than 3000 species. When ingested, AMBUSH causes the body temperature in the trunk area to rise to about 102 degrees when the individual is sleeping. The preparation takes four hours per batch, which is then given to the individuals for consumption 60 ml three times daily for 21 days. AMBUSH is a herbal preparation in this form but it contains an active ingredient which is a ‘NEW’ crystalline substance, a drug from the ‘palm plant’ similarly to ASPIRIN originating from the willow tree bark

    RESULTS:
    After 21 days on AMBUSH, ALL the individuals experienced a decrease in viral load to undetectable, an increase in cd4, increase in RBC, an improvement in general health such as more color to the face, decrease in Buffalo hump, an increase in gluteal muscles, a decrease to having no joint pains whereby individuals can bend to touch their toes, and walk up steps are but a few examples. There is also a dramatic increase in their sexual appetite beginning after the first week of therapy

    DISCUSSION:
    In any plant concoction such as percolated ‘tea’, there are 30-40,000 compounds, whi ch would take the scientific community twenty years to isolate one particular ingredient if they knew what they were looking for. The LORD GOD has given me seven steps to isolate the active ingredient, which is soft and metallic in nature and has a carbon- uranium-sulfur-(classified)-phentolamine configuration or structure. This is similar to Federick Kekule and the discovery of the benzene ring where he dreamt the structure.

    As an antiviral and ‘natural radioactivity’ producing agent, AMBUSH is also effective against leukemia, lupus and HPV. Here I am saying that I have ‘GIVEN’ AMBUSH in the same ‘strength’ and dosage to patients with leukemia, lupus and HPV. A 35 year old male with HIV found it difficult to impossible to urinate was put on ‘green tea’ and water while the doctors contemplated prostrate surgery. One of the doctors gave him my number , I sent him a supply of AMBUSH an d he has not been given any more ARV’s, since taking AMBUSH 18 months ago, is in ‘good’ health and has expressed a willingness to be examined by HIV investigators like many others who have taken AMBUSH.

    I have sent this ‘IDEA’ to most HIV research agencies, scientist of the field, universities, hospitals, clinics, politicians and news agencies to which it is REJECTED because the name of THE LORD GOD is mentioned. He has steered me scientifically through the processes such as which plant and how to produce the active ingredient. What are the odds of a Florida Pharmacist picking a plant would contain the CURE for HIV/AIDS ?
    I have never charged any of the people for their supply of AMBUSH but a life saving has been spent on the project with NO renumeration from any sources because AMBUSH falls outside the walls of modern medicine and research.

    PROPOSAL:

    My proposal is that I PROVE that AMBUSH CURES HIV/AIDS by giving it to a number of END-STAGE or DRUG-RESISTANT people and the scientific community watches their recovery. This proposal addresses the problem in that I have already outlaid the results to be obtained.

    This IDEA is unconventional in that the scientific community has rejected AMBUSH because I say it is GOD given. Secondly if I wrote it according to certain standards, then it might be peer reviewed. However, THE LORD GOD has also shown me that there are five enzyme systems associated with the virus, reverse transcriptase, protease, fusion and two more of which causes the virus to be AIRBOURNE. This means that without DIVINE intervention mankind and ALL warm- blooded mammals will be extinct in a number of years.

    The PROOF of what I am saying is found in scientific papers wherein it is found that when the protease cuts the viral strands, it cuts it at DIFFERENT lengths EVERY time, to which it should always be a valine at the end but is a different amino acid every time. This is why it is IMPOSSIBLE to produce a VACCINE.

    Since this is NOT a hypothesis but there are about 400 individuals who have taken AMBUSH, here lies a vast area in which to check, recheck and confirm that AMBUSH CURES AIDS. Let it be mentioned that during the HIV reproductive cycle, reverse transcriptase converts viral RNA into DNA compatible to human genetic materials. Thus the human DNA has been ‘hijacked’ and since each person has a DIFFERENT DNA, then the new viral copy is unique to that person which shows that each individual has a DIFFERENT STRAIN of the virus. Consider two HIV positive people swapping viral strains and increasing its complexity with multiple partners.
    It can also be proposed that they be revisited as proof that the strain or strains that they had were ‘killed’ at the time of taking AMBUSH considering that a person can catch as many different strains as there are people who are infected by HIV.
    I am also willing to work with the scientific community in identifying those individuals who took AMBUSH and wish to be identified with this process notwithstanding that some are stigmatized while others are jubilant,

    Once AMBUSH is verified as being able to accomplish that which is aforementioned then the next stage might be the natural and artificial synthesis of the substance.

    Finally, if this is accepted or not, believed or not, THE LORD GOD always wins and this is the heavenly truth to which AMBUSH was divinely given to mankind for the CURE of HIV/AIDS and it will be here forever. Apostle Shada Mishe.

    apostleshadamishe@gmail.com

    Here is a video taped presentation that I gave at t he Martin Luther King library in Washington


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPwuwlVBOV0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqcTgIAhrhc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9iQfgiYAnw

  35. daviddavid says

    besides we wouldn’t be facing this at all if your governement didn’t decide to kill us off by tainting the Hep B vaccine in 1977. You want someone to blame, blame them. Yeah 600.000 people get sick and die at the same time all around the country yeah that shit happens all the time. IMPOSSIBLE!!!!

  36. Brian in Texas says

    I have to agree with Derek. Im sorry, but regardless of the circumstances, to take a pillow and violently smother someone, regardless if that person asked you to or not, is just plain WRONG. Not the same as taking someone off life support in a vegetative state. If that person still has a breath in their body they can still be a contributing member of society; maybe help someone else, etc.

  37. Will says

    “Will, you sound as if you’ve never suffered pain. I hope you never do, because you have no idea what it’s like to suffer pain that no doc or ‘pain management’ will alleviate. Even today. NO idea.”

    Mr E., YOU have no idea about me or what I have been through. Yes, I have had to make the end-of-life decision for a loved one in terrible pain. I know very well what the options are with respect to morphine and medically induced coma, withdrawal of life support and all the rest of it. And no, I didn’t suffocate him with a pillow.

  38. Bryan says

    I’ve helped three different people die. The word “murder” is absurd in this context, and the twenty-somethings on this list that bandy it about with such blithe abandon are just that: twenty-something.

    “Murder is wrong. Period.” You can press that dot key all you like, honey, but when real life gets you by the throat, sticking to your unloaded intellectual, moral, and ethical guns isn’t going to help anyone even a little bit.

    The apparent willingness of so many young gay men to accept the standards of the larger culture without question or examination is truly creepy.

  39. Tim says

    I think that we younger gays would benefit immensely from the stories of our older counterparts concerning what it was like to live, and to experience death during the height of the AIDS crisis. It is perhaps an immense burden for those people to share their stories with us, and an immense privilege for us to hear them.

    Modern cultures have an almost monomaniacal concern with what Giorgio Agamben calls “bare life”: the sheer fact of living, with little regard for the quality of the life that is lived. So long as a person is alive, the content of that life matters far less. This man and his partner were perhaps concerned with something more than that, with a life well-lived (however defined.) Death in the absence of the good life is understandable (compare Socrates,) but it runs against the grain of our cultural preoccupations.

    If this man and his partner agreed to his dying, than I think calling this man a murderer is hyperbolic, clumsy, and inapt. The method of death is one that perhaps strikes us as brutal, but I think the presence of consent and the immense pain that attends the disease is one that potentially excuses his actions.

  40. TANK says

    “I think that we younger gays would benefit immensely from the stories of our older counterparts concerning what it was like to live, and to experience death during the height of the AIDS crisis.”

    Maybe you would, but it just seems like a great big debbie downer to me. Just one depressing story after another…tedious. Besides, you can watch angels in america or the band something or other…played on.

  41. Tim says

    Tank, the stories of people’s reactions to death needn’t be tedious. I think our collective, modern refusal to discuss death as a part of the human condition is a glaring oversight. Previous generations were not nearly as reticent to face and discuss death–indeed, they sometimes did so joyfully (not as “debbie downers.”)

    Of course, modern medicine has largely banished death from public sight and given us the “luxury” of not having to see it. Or perhaps we just are more able to willfully turn our eyes away from it now. Not sure. Either way, I don’t want to ignore an element of being human that is as profound as it is informative.

  42. says

    Oh I feel so sorry about him. I honestly think that he did what is best for the both of them. In the eyes of the law, he might be a murderer but I believe he did it because of how much he loves her.

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