An interesting essay by Obamacare architect, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel called Why I Hope to Die at 75 is making the rounds. It is significant for a couple of reasons. First, it provides an insight into how the secular elites are coming to regard life. Secondly, Emanuel had, and continues to have, enormous influence on how health care policy is developed in the United States.
Let me make two points before proceeding.
- Talk is cheap. Emanuel is currently 57 years old so his statement is very much an academic one. As Samuel Johnson said, the prospect of being hanged concentrates the mind wonderfully. If he still feels that way when he turns 75 then I’ll be happy to show up with the cellophane bag and duct tape and let him deliver on his promise.
- Emanuel is not directly espousing euthanasia, though it is very easy to see how following his logic could lead there.
Emanuel starts with the observation that Americans strive for immortality.
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.
This is hardly original. A colleague of mine, a British officer, once quipped that “Americans seem to think death is optional.” (This was longer ago than I care to talk about.) Perhaps. If so, there are worse failings to which a nation can succumb. This strikes me as a rather snooty reaction that ignores the fact that Americans are bombarded by carefully crafted messages from the medical community virtually every day on health, diet, etc. These messages are based on hundreds of billions of dollars invested in biomedical research… research conducted and led by doctors, like Emanuel (who worked for the National Institutes of Health). For heaven’s sake, we have a harpy in the White House forcing carrot sticks down the throats of resisting children across the country. We’d have to both deaf and stupid not to react to some of this Niagara Falls of information that washes over us continually.