Obamacare Architect Thinks We Should Die by 75


Ezekiel Emanuel, former White House Special Adviser on Obamacare and current Director of Clinical Bioethics at NIH, has decided the optimal age for death: Seventy-five.

Doubtless, death is a loss. It deprives us of experiences and milestones, of time spent with our spouse and children. In short, it deprives us of all the things we value.

But here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long is also a loss. It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.

Emanuel, brother to Chicago mayor Rahm and Hollywood super-agent Ari, first gained notoriety as a key target of Sarah Palin. Along with other conservatives, Palin accused Ezekiel of advocating death panels, a charge he bitterly denied, even after the codification of IPAB.

Now that Obamacare is the law of the land, he isn’t as shy about sharing his controversial thoughts on aging Americans. He views geriatric medicine as a way to give “terminally ill people a good, compassionate death,” rather than a way to prolong their lives. “Americans may live longer than their parents, but they are likely to be more incapacitated,” Emanuel says. “Does that sound very desirable? Not to me.”

Stephen Hawking is quite incapacitated, as are many other productive people under 75. Should they too thirst for death, or is attaining that arbitrary age a requirement for self-destruction? As a prominent bioethicist, Emanuel must understand the repercussions of his ideas better than most.

The musings get even creepier with Emanuel’s examples of family members who have outlasted their desirability:

My father illustrates the situation well. About a decade ago, just shy of his 77th birthday, he began having pain in his abdomen. Like every good doctor, he kept denying that it was anything important. But after three weeks with no improvement, he was persuaded to see his physician. He had in fact had a heart attack, which led to a cardiac catheterization and ultimately a bypass. Since then, he has not been the same. Once the prototype of a hyperactive Emanuel, suddenly his walking, his talking, his humor got slower. Today he can swim, read the newspaper, needle his kids on the phone, and still live with my mother in their own house. But everything seems sluggish. Although he didn’t die from the heart attack, no one would say he is living a vibrant life. When he discussed it with me, my father said, “I have slowed down tremendously. That is a fact. I no longer make rounds at the hospital or teach.” Despite this, he also said he was happy.

I dearly hope that the elder Emanuel doesn’t read this article.

[L]iving as long as possible has drawbacks we often won’t admit to ourselves. I will leave aside the very real and oppressive financial and caregiving burdens that many, if not most, adults in the so-called sandwich generation are now experiencing, caught between the care of children and parents. Our living too long places real emotional weights on our progeny…

[P]arents also cast a big shadow for most children. Whether estranged, disengaged, or deeply loving, they set expectations, render judgments, impose their opinions, interfere, and are generally a looming presence for even adult children… And while children can never fully escape this weight even after a parent dies, there is much less pressure to conform to parental expectations and demands after they are gone.

I dearly hope that no one in the Emanuel family reads this article, though it would have been helpful to have this information prior to the Obamacare vote. At least he chose to “leave aside the very real and oppressive financial and caregiving burdens” or that might have induced guilt in those cruel, selfish octogenarians.

Emanuel doesn’t recommend euthanasia. But despite his protestations, the article tacitly argues for Die-If-You-Know-What’s-Best-For-You. After 75, he has determined that you are a burden to yourself, to your loved ones and to society at large. A 76-year-old obviously isn’t in a position to contribute anything useful. Emanuel isn’t ordering you to step on that the outbound ice floe, but when Obamacare 2.0 comes along, who knows?

I visited my 100-year-old grandmother this summer. Though Mr. Emanuel would look down upon her as “feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic,” I look up to her. Her vision is blurred, her hearing weak and her mind tired. But with a firm grasp of my hand and a tender kiss on my cheek she showed that she can contribute something far more important than an article in The Atlantic: Love.

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  1. Pilli Inactive

    anonymous:Dr. Emanuel was born in 1957. Let’s ask him what he thinks of this idea in, say, 2032.

    I was thinking the same thing.

    I wonder how he would feel if we reduced his waiting time by say 10 years.  After all, at around 65, most Americans are retiring and we all know that nothing productive is done during retirement.  Let’s just say that 65 is the new cutoff date.

    But wait, we keep hearing that youngsters entering the workforce these days can’t get jobs because oldsters aren’t retiring.  Maybe the cutoff should be around 55 so the youngsters can have job openings available.  That puts Mr. Emmanuel squarely in the cross hairs as it were.  Does he feel this new 55 year limit is too arbitrary?  Hmmm.  Wonder why?

    • #31
  2. profdlp Inactive

    A man goes in for his regular medical check-up and asks, “Doctor, will I live till I’m 100 years old?” Doctor responds, “Do you smoke or drink?” Man replies, “No.” Doctor asks, “Do you eat red meat?” “No.”. “Do you drive fast cars, gamble or chase after women?” “Definitely not!” Doctor frowns and asks, “Then why do you want to live to be 100?!”

    I don’t know where I got this (maybe here!), but it makes me laugh every time.

    (And I’m going for 100 and all the fast cars, red meat, and woman-chasing I can shoehorn in.)

    • #32
  3. TeamAmerica Member

    Recall Dr. and Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean’s comment-“Obamacare will lead to the rationing of care and the denial of care.” And he added, roughly, The IPAB can set reimbursement too low to make an operation economical.

    A pity our worthless media won’t report this.

    • #33
  4. Israel P. Inactive
    Israel P.

    As a genealogist, I would really appreciate nocturnal visits from some of my dead ancestors. Not just for the information they could give me.

    But there are a few public people who I really wish were visited by their ancestors, who would almost certainly read them the riot act. Being outrageous in order to achieve fame and fortune was never part of our heritage.

    Emanuel is one. Peter Singer, Norman Finklestein, Peter Beinart and Noam Chomsky come to mind as well.

    • #34
  5. virgil15marlow@yahoo.com Coolidge

    Every time this man speaks, I come away with the reaction that he’s one hell of a repulsive A-H.

    • #35
  6. user_124695 Inactive

    Hey, that only gives me 9 more years :-(

    Hopefully, I’ll be able to avoid the death panels… if I ask Mr Obama nicely, and he doesn’t give me a pill to take the pain away  (Dr Emanuel will be gone by then).

    Brave New World, indeed.

    • #36
  7. user_231912 Inactive

    There was a “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode in which a planet’s existence was being threatened and a scientist (played by David Ogden Stiers of MASH fame) appeared to be the only one able to figure out how to save it.  Problem is, he was approaching the age of 60, when his society mandated “The Resolution” (forced assisted suicide).  Even his daughter went up to the Enterprise at one point to insist that he off himself, as society demanded.  He finally did so, with Mrs. Troi going along reluctantly.

    Struggle, difficulty, inconvenience; all these things are to be eliminated in our brave new world.  Problem is, they require us to play God, and in case no one has noticed, we aren’t Him.

    • #37
  8. user_517406 Inactive

    The left promotes a culture of death.  Oddly, though they promote medical intervention to destroy babies in the form of abortion and in the name of “women controlling their bodies,” they then  promote denying medical intervention to the elderly in the name of encouraging death beyond what they deem an admissible length of life.  In other words, they do not favor allowing the elderly to control their own bodies.  What they really want is for people to give birth and die on their terms and in their timeline.  This is why the left is an ethical black hole.

    • #38
  9. user_385039 Inactive

    In parts of Europe, the doctors actively prescribe death based on the individual’s health at the time.

    In this country, we kill the unborn for having allowed themselves to be conceived.  We have the background testimony of a lot of women / parents that physicians recommended the child be aborted as a “just in case” to avoid complications, so doctor’s aren’t shy about recommending death.

    Oregon permits physician-assisted suicide.

    One suspects that a lot of physicians, operating

    (1) under some consideration of compassion,

    (2) under some consideration of who gets dollars spent on them,

    (3) under some consideration of government direction (aka the death panels),

    (4) under some consideration of being allowed to act as physicians when faced with bureaucrats,

    (5) under any combination of some or all of the above,

    will take the opportunity to euthanize their patients in our brave new world.

    The Hippocratic Oath is no longer in effective use.

    • #39
  10. user_82762 Inactive

    John Hendrix:

    James Gawron: I hope Mr. Hendrix enjoyed that.



    Heh! Thanks Jim. Uh, I never knew that the good Dr’s first name was Zeke. Are you sure about that?


    Well I’m stretching things a bit.  However, nobody stretches the truth more than Zeke Emanuel.  I am but a humble amateur.  When it comes to massive total fabrication and complete disconnect from reality, nobody is in Zeke’s league.



    • #40
  11. MikeHs Inactive

    (OK, I’m going there…) “Herr Emanuel, ve are very interested in your ideas und ve haf many questions.  Perhaps you would pay us a visit at the Reichsicherheitshauptamt, Niederkirchestraße, Berlin.  No worries, ve vill send a car for you.  Ist alles klar?”

    • #41
  12. user_444739 Inactive

    How old is Harry Reid? Maybe the old ethicist Zekeey is up to some thing here…!

    • #42
  13. Casey Inactive

    Joseph Stanko:I actually agree with him on another point as well:

    Americans seem to be obsessed with exercising, doing mental puzzles, consuming various juice and protein concoctions, sticking to strict diets, and popping vitamins and supplements, all in a valiant effort to cheat death and prolong life as long as possible. This has become so pervasive that it now defines a cultural type: what I call the American immortal.

    I reject this aspiration. I think this manic desperation to endlessly extend life is misguided and potentially destructive.

    While I’d rather live to 100 all else being equal, if it means giving up bacon cheeseburgers and chocolate shakes, then thanks but no thanks.

    I’m with you.  Living life in a way to extend life is just wasting life.

    But then again so is golf, and career, and most everything else.

    • #43
  14. user_512412 Inactive

    Dr. Emanuel was born in 1957. Let’s ask him what he thinks of this idea in, say, 2032.


    I remember how those born in the late 30s/early 40s told us (in the early 60s) to “never trust anyone over 30.  Come the 70s, it was impossible to find anyone who had ever said such a thing.  I suspect a similar evolution will be forthcoming.  Times will have changed, geriatric vitality looks a lot different from the inside.

    A conspiratorial person might recast the statement as “Those born before [my birthyear minus a few] are decrepit/untrustworthy.”  Then future consistency will not be a problem.

    • #44
  15. 6foot2inhighheels Member

    Most civilized counties have old stories that address this issue.  Maybe that’s why Common Core is so concerned with ridding public schools of literature.

    An old Lithuanian parable, told to me by my father:

    A young son notices his father carefully painting a cart in brilliant, festive colors, and asks why.  His father explains that this is the going-away cart for Grandfather, who has outlived his usefulness on the farm, and has become a burden.  The son, excited for the adventure, asks, “May I come along, Father?”

    “Of course!” Says the father, “This is a happy time!  Life will be easier for everyone as we celebrate Grandfather’s departure.”

    With the old man in the back, the father and son drive the cart deep into the forest, and several hours later, the father unhooks the horse.  The young boy, not wishing to say goodbye to his Grandfather, bursts into tears.  The father chides him, saying, “Dry your tears, this is way of our people, and has been for thousands of years.  There will be more food, and more room for you to play when we get home.”

    The child, considering this, dries his tears as his father pulls him up into the saddle and they head back to the farm.  Halfway home, the boy asks cheerfully, “But I don’t understand why we left the cart.  What will I use for you someday?”  The father looks deeply into his son’s eyes, turns the horse around, and brings Grandfather home.

    • #45
  16. user_9474 Member

    dittoheadadt:The GOP braintrust has 6+ weeks to use this to maximum electoral advantage, to relentlessly and endlessly pound this immoral view home to every voter who ever had a parent, as emblematic of Obamacare and its not-too-distant-future reach.

    But will they?

    Do you see a Mitt Romney daintily pulling off his white gloves to throw this brick? Me, either. Ted Cruz —  that’s another matter.

    • #46
  17. TKC1101 Member

    My mother lived to 97. My children and grandchildren got to meet someone who was born in 1911, lived through the great depression, ww2 and hear her stories. I listened to my own grandmother tell of coming to America in 1880.

    People like Emmanuel completely miss the value of having living family members who possess a unique perspective and history.

    Life is far more than comfort. Emmanuel is a dangerous elitist.

    • #47
  18. reidspoorhouse Inactive

    Not carbon offsets but age offsets, what a cool idea. Since the left believes so much in carbon offsets they should provide the vast majority of the age offsets too.

    • #48
  19. Julia PA Inactive
    Julia PA

    TKC1101: Emmanuel is a dangerous elitist.

    And still he lives (Emmanuel), even though we don’t like him or his ideas. Fancy that…

    • #49
  20. user_82762 Inactive

    Just testing 10cents solution to the video problem.



    • #50
  21. user_82762 Inactive

    Works Great!

    10cents gave solution in comment #17 of anonymous’s Saturday Night Science: SuperIntelligence.



    • #51
  22. Quietpi Member

    Last week we celebrated the birthday of the oldest member of our church.  What a fantastic lady!  Funny, creative, a person others love to be around.  She does use a cane – when her “kids” are watching – to humor them.  She’s 101.

    Then there’s the lady who sat across the aisle from me today.  She drives a minivan, in order to transport all her old friends, to church, to lunch and such.  She passes her annual driver test with flying colors, much to the relief of all her friends.  Actually, I’m not sure how old she is, or exactly how many years ago she let it slip that she had just celebrated her 90th birthday.

    • #52
  23. Misthiocracy Member

    Larry King responds:

    • #53
  24. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT

    Jules PA:Is it like the healthcare version of the military draft?

    Once you turn 75, your name gets put in the lottery.

    Tonight’s winner is 24601…

    He is gone already Jules.

    • #54
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