ObamaCare mastermind Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel recently published an Atlantic magazine essay explaining why he hopes to die at age 75, which for him is eighteen years away.

He won’t kill himself, but plans to refuse any medical treatment other than palliative care for pain or disability. He says that like death, “…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.”

Psychotherapist Michael Hurd explains that Emanuel takes his position from “the oldest, most primitive creed of ethics in human history: Self-sacrifice….Like all self-conscious advocates of selflessness, he seems proud of his willingness to hurt his family by proclaiming his wish to die. ‘Hey, look at me. I’m so selfless I don’t even wish to live. It hurts my family, but that shows how willing I am to be sacrificial.’”

Hurd notes, “This is what passes as the standard of sophisticated, high-end, state-of-the-art ethics, at least among the sophisticates and elite whom we have given permission to run our lives.”

Of course, Emanuel leaves himself an out: “I retain the right to change my mind and offer a vigorous and reasoned defense of living as long as possible.”

So there you have it: Emanuel’s 57-year-old self making the sacrificial case for not wanting to live more than 18 more years, but admitting that his 75-year-old self might very well make a different choice. Who would have guessed?

Steve Buckstein is founder and Senior Policy Analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

4 thoughts on “No Death Panels Here―Yet

  1. There seems to be a lack of finesse here. They went from simply denying that there would be Death Panels to saying that it would, none-the-less, be a good thing to die about when a Death Panel would tell one to die. Wouldn’t it have been more skillful to have first suggested that such a death “might not be a bad thing”?

    The left begins with a promise to eliminate something seen as a problem, but at best they simply relocate it. When the relocation becomes evident, they tell us that it’s just something with which we have to live — or, perhaps, just something with which we have to die.

    Most people who supported the ACA imagined that it would provide healthcare to those who were not receiving it. For some, at least, it has and will. It also has taken and will take healthcare from others who were receiving it. So Dr Emanuel is telling us that this will be, after all, a good thing.

  2. If these were merely the musings of a disturbed individual, it might not bother me much. But if, or when, this old-people-are-useless tirade becomes State policy, it takes on a more sinister dimension. When the State controls all health care, it has the power to kill by withholding care. This has already cropped up in Britain with guidelines for breast cancer treatment among the elderly, and extra consideration given to people who pay taxes vs. the elderly retired who are a drain on the State. State-run health care will compete for tax dollars with the military, farm subsidies, government schools, business subsidies, and on and on. Guess who will win?

  3. When you look at humans as commodity, it depletes the value of life for all ages. Our senior population is the glue that holds families together and support for non-profit organizations. They add passion and stability. Imagine your families life without the senior generation.

  4. Dear Mr. Buckstein:

    I have spoken with you over the phone from time to time from my home here in Bend. I spoke with Tim Knopp that informed me some time back that in Oregon there is a form of death panel that is called “H.E.R.C.” that was set up by the State of Oregon in determining what individuals will receive when it comes to health care here in Oregon should push come to shove that is. You might ask Tim, more about this should you get the opportunity to do so.

    Yours once again,

    Tom Eichorst

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