“Why I Hope to Die at 75.” That’s the title of an article written by Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel for the October, 2014, issue of The Atlantic magazine. It has generated a great deal of commentary in the media and on the Internet, especially because Dr. Emanuel has been involved in government policy-making with regard to health care.
Dr. Emanuel does not favor causing death. He states in the article, “Since the 1990s, I have actively opposed legalizing euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.” He’s not talking about deliberately ending his life or anyone else’s. Instead, he writes: “I am talking about how long I want to live and the kind and amount of health care I will consent to after 75. 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.” For him, “75 is a pretty good age to aim to stop.” Read more