The Easy Way Out deals with the forever controversial subject of euthanasia/assisted suicide. The author, Steven Amsterdam, is a palliative care nurse and clearly draws on his experiences on those who are at the last stages of life, and wish it to hurry up.
The main character is, in my mind, the rather selfish, unlikeable drifter nurse Evan. I found this character to be very self serving – his exploration of assisting those who want to safely suicide is more about him and his need to feel needed that the desire to help others. Evan’s mother is unwell herself and the story of her illness and navigating the healthcare system is a great layer to the story, adding some more personal touches to the book.
The issue of assisted suicide/euthanasia is well written. The balance between the patients desire, how it affects family, the procedure itself and the need to ‘hide’ what can be done offer a quite balanced view of the debate. Some of the grey areas of the debate are covered well too – what if the person wants to die but has no illness – is suicide because of sadness/grief fair enough, and who gets the final say.
I liked reading this book – the subject is so interesting and I do feel quite firmly that we have a right to choose. But the grey bits are still there!