Ezekiel Emanuel questions “whether our consumption is worth our contribution” in old age
In October 2014, Ezekiel Emanuel published an essay in the Atlantic called “Why I Hope to Die at 75.” Because Emanuel is a medical doctor and chair of the University of Pennsylvania’s department of medical ethics and health policy, as well as a chief architect of Obamacare, the article stirred enormous controversy.
Emanuel vowed to refuse not only heroic medical interventions once he turned 75, but also antibiotics and vaccinations. His argument: older Americans live too long in a diminished state, raising the question of, as he put it, “whether our consumption is worth our contribution.”
Emanuel, now 62, talked with me about the social implications of longevity research and why he isn’t a fan of extending life spans. I was particularly curious to get his reaction to several promising new anti-aging drugs.
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