Ezekiel Emanuel is taking his I-Hope-To-Die-at-75 road show to Switzerland at the invitation of the University of Geneva, where he will be speaking today.
I am opposed to euthanasia and assisted suicide. I feel that people who want that recourse mainly suffer from depression and fear of losing their dignity; we must first provide them with care and compassion. I will not put an end to my life intentionally. But I will not try to prolong it either! From age 75, I will accept neither predictive tests nor care – except for palliative care that reduces pain. I’ll do no more cardiac tests. I will not take more antibiotics and I will not be vaccinated against the flu. If I have cancer, I will refuse any treatment.
He would make a great poster child for the Choosing Wisely campaign against “unnecessary medical care.”
Emanuel was fairly blunt. Though he doesn’t advocate limiting lives to age 75, he does feel that the state (which is paying for health care, thanks to health planners such as Dr. Emanuel) should not be concerned if life expectancy falls; that the state should focus on young people:
. . . I think that developed countries should stop focusing on the life expectancy of their populations. It is useless to chase after Japan, Monaco and Macau, which are the countries where people die the oldest. Once a life expectancy of 75 years or more is reached, the state should stop worrying about that. Efforts could then specifically focus on the health of the youth and the disadvantaged groups – such as African American men who have a lower life expectancy than whites. A massive investment in research into Alzheimer’s disease also seems to me indispensable.
I wonder what sort of research he wants on Alzheimer’s patients, and what he hopes to get from it. Not longer lives, no doubt.