Monday, 3 October 2016

The Easy Way Out by Steven Amsterdam

Title: The Easy Way Out
Author: Steven Amsterdam
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Date of Publication: August 30th, 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Summary:


A brand new novel everyone will be talking about from the award-winning author of THINGS WE DIDN'T SEE COMING and WHAT THE FAMILY NEEDED.

If you could help someone in pain, would you?

Evan is a nurse, a suicide assistant. His job is legal . . . just. He's the one at the hospital who hands out the last drink to those who ask for it. 

Evan's friends don't know what he does during the day. His mother, Viv, doesn't know what he's up to at night. And his supervisor suspects there may be trouble ahead.

As he helps one patient after another die, Evan pushes against legality, his own morality and the best intentions of those closest to him, discovering that his own path will be neither quick nor painless.

He knows what he has to do.

In this powerful novel, award-winning author Steven Amsterdam challenges readers to face the most taboo and heartbreaking of dilemmas. Would you help someone end their life? 


Review:

Euthanasia means a good death. It is a topic that has been the subject of debate for many years, with some countries introducing laws allowing active, voluntary euthanasia, others allowing passive euthanasia, or the law of double effect, and yet others banning the practice of helping anyone end their life in any way.

In The Easy Way Out, assisted suicide has been legalised in specific cases. Evan works in the unit of the hospital dealing with assisted suicide. The rules are clear. Everyone has to agree, including loved ones. The medical professional must stay neutral. They can pass the Nembutal, a fatal barbiturate, to the patient, but the patient must lift the cup to their own mouth without assistance. Before they are handed the cup, they must agree several times that they want to die and are ready to do so. Death is then swift, within an hour.