I have strong views on the way we treat the terminally sick and would definitely be in favour of some type of controlled euthanasia for those who are suffering. In many cases we are more humane to animals than people.
When I had the opportunity to review this book I was hoping for something that advocated my views, and while this novel does appear to support euthanasia, I found the book itself a bit slow and more of a list of people who chose to end their own lives than a thesis supporting the right to do so, albeit in novel form.
The author is a palliative care nurse in Melbourne, so he writes from a position of some experience. Whilst assisted dying isn't legal in Australia, he proposes a measure, which he calls Measure 961, allowing sick patients to be monitored while they sip a fatal dose of Nembutal. In the novel, Measure 961 is surrounded by the inevitable red tape and all procedures are carefully monitored and recorded on video. Evan finds that overseeing this process gives him satisfaction and he supports his patients' right to choose.
I wasn't quite sure why the author chose to make Evan homosexual, and the descriptions of his sex life with a gay couple were rather unnecessary in my view.
His mother is a wonderful feisty lady who pretty much left him to raise himself, but who is now living in a care home with all the frustrating realities that entails. She suffers from Parkinson's disease and is deteriorating. The question hovers as to whether Evan might eventually help her to end her life and the outcome to that question is interesting.
A brave subject for a novel. I hope others will follow suit and trigger more discussion on the topic.