Law & Order

Season 1 Episode 3

The Reaper's Helper

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Oct 04, 1990 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • Stone prosecutes a gay man who has been 'killing' other gay men dying of AIDS at their request, which brings up conflicting and emotional beliefs about assisted suicide.

    The first gay episode" for the Law and Order series raises some very good ethical arguments about assisted suicide, which was illegal in New York and still is today.

    Jack Curry is a gay man who other gay men have sought out to help them commit suicide. All of these men were dying of AIDS. No cure exists and, in 1990, effective treatment options, even if you had great health insurance, were pretty much non-existent.

    Assisted suicide is illegal in New York and Stone must defend the law. Yet, Stone is also personally conflicted about the ethics of voluntary, assisted suicide and the case brings out strong emotions about not only assisted suicide but also some of the frustration that some members of gay community have with the government and medical communities response to the AIDS-HIV pandemic.

    This is a great, first season episode. Yes, some things are a bit dated, given the fact that this first aired in 1990, but most of the ethical issues raised are certainly relevant today.