Book Review: Do You Call This A Life? Blurred Boundaries in the Netherlands' Right-to-Die Laws

Purchase the book or DVD: Do You Call This A Life? Blurred Boundaries in the Netherlands' Right-to-Die Laws for: $20 for the book or $10 for the DVD of van Loenen's talk in Ottawa or (book and the DVD for $25) includes postage from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) by calling: 1-877-439-3348 or email:

Do You Call this a Life? Blurred Boundaries in the Netherlands’ Right-to-Die Laws. By Gerbert van Loenen.

Book Review by Paul Russell; the director of HOPE Australia and the Vice Chair of EPC-International

What do you want to do when you leave school?” A casual conversation starter I think I’ve probably had with each of my children at some point – even repeatedly. It had an additional context when I raised it with Joseph recently in a quiet moment. 

Joseph, in his fourteen years had had probably more prospective careers than most of us could think of; ranging from a long period when he was convinced he would be a priest to only recently wanting to ‘go into business’ operating a pizzeria out of our kitchen (Mum had other ideas!). 

Sometimes this kind of exchange is simply banter; a time filler exploring the thoughts and ideas of a child with ever-expanding horizons as the world opens up before him or her.

“A firefighter, Dad!” “But Joseph, the fire brigade probably won’t accept someone with Down syndrome, mate. It just won’t happen.” 

Okay! I know! That sounds like a harsh response, but it’s not. Joseph and I have great conversations about all sorts of things. Anne and I are also as firmly committed to providing him with the very best educational and emotional platform we can. But we’ve done that for all our children, so that’s hardly surprising, even if fleshing that out requires somewhat a different approach from the others.

Link to the full review