Tributes paid to right-to-die campaigner Gordon Ross

Gordon Ross. Picture: submitted

Gordon Ross. Picture: submitted

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A DISABLED former broadcaster who became one of Scotland’s most prominent right-to-die campaigners through his fight for clearer legal guidance on assisted suicide has died in hospital.

Gordon Ross, 67, a grandfather from Glasgow, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2005 and suffered from multiple health problems in the years that followed.

Shiela Duffy from Friends At The End (FATE) leads a demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament in December. Picture: Greg Macvean

Shiela Duffy from Friends At The End (FATE) leads a demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament in December. Picture: Greg Macvean

The retired TV producer challenged Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland to give greater clarity on assisted suicide as he feared anyone who helped him die would face prosecution.

Mr Ross was admitted to hospital in Glasgow two weeks ago with pneumonia and died at midnight on Wednesday surrounded by his family and friends, said the Humanist Society of Scotland (HSS), where he had played a key role.

Tributes were paid to a “kind and generous man” and a “doughty fighter” who continued his campaign right up until his death.

READ MORE: Man in court battle for right ‘to die with dignity’

Despite his numerous health problems which would have floored a lesser individual, he worked tirelessly to support the assisted dying cause, and never lost his sense of humour

Sheila Duffy

His friend Sheila Duffy, convener of Friends At The End (Fate), an organisation campaigning for a law change on assisted dying in Scotland, said: “Gordon was a doughty fighter who passionately believed the law should be changed.

“Despite his numerous health problems which would have floored a lesser individual, he worked tirelessly to support the assisted dying cause, and never lost his sense of humour.

“Our thoughts are with his family, who supported his stance, at this sad time.”

Mr Ross supported the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill until it was defeated in May last year after which he unsuccessfully tried to launch a judicial review calling for the Lord Advocate to provide greater clarity of what charges might be brought against a person who assists someone who is terminally ill to take their own life.

Last month, Mr Ross launched an appeal at the Court of Session to overturn this decision. Judges are due to rule on the appeal at a later date. Former HSS chair and close friend, Leslie Mitchell, said: “Gordon was an incredibly kind and generous man, always ready to stand-up for the rights of others, and modest about his own significant achievements.

“I was proud to call Gordon a friend, and will miss him immensely.”

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