Tags: Healthcare Reform | Dr. Zeke Emanuel | Morning Joe | Obamacare | old age | healthcare

Dr. Zeke Emanuel: 75 Years Long Enough to Live

By    |   Monday, 22 Sep 2014 01:14 PM

Obamacare architect Dr. Zeke Emanuel explained on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" why he believed 75 years was long enough for a person to live, saying that's about the time health began to decline.

"I picked 75, when you think about the combination of physical decline, the rise of Alzheimer's, the loss of creativity. And I really say you need to think about what you're going to leave your children, your family, your community, the country," Emanuel said on Monday.

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In an article in September's issue of "The Atlantic" provocatively titled, "Why I Hope to Die at 75," Emanuel spelled out his case for why longevity in life didn't necessarily translate to quality as people advanced in age.

"Seventy-five. That's how long I want to live: 75 years," Emanuel wrote in the article. "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."

Emanuel told "Morning Joe" that it all boiled down to "the meaning and the purpose of your life," adding that Americans had a tendency to believe they were the "American immortal — they do everything to live as long as possible."

"One of the big American beliefs is this thing called compression of morbidity. You know, we're just going to be healthy, healthy, healthy, fall off the cliff, and we won't have any of this disability.

"The reality is, that hasn't been, in the last 25 years, the way it's gone. Disabilities increase every time we live longer. And then there's Alzheimer's. At 85, between a third and half of the people have Alzheimer's. Does that sound so desirable to you to live to 100?" he said.

One fear of Obamacare among some was the concept of "death panels" that could deny treatment for illness for a person as they advanced in age. Emanuel said that while he had "been against euthanasia for 25 years," he did support the idea of a person halting their medical care once they got to a certain age.

"I am about 'I'm not going to the doctor. I'm going to stop doing the doctor stuff,'" he said. "The question isn't living longer. The question is high-quality life. This is what most people want."

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Obamacare architect Dr. Zeke Emanuel explained on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" why he believed 75 years was long enough for a person to live, saying that's about the time health began to decline.
Dr. Zeke Emanuel, Morning Joe, Obamacare, old age, healthcare
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2014-14-22
Monday, 22 Sep 2014 01:14 PM
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