Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s new coronavirus task force, once wrote a column explaining why “living too long” can be a “loss.”
Biden’s 13-member “COVID-19 advisory board,” announced on Monday, includes Dr. Emanuel, who once played a key role in designing former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and currently chairs the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long is also a loss,” Emanuel wrote. “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. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.”
Emanuel, who is 63, explained that he will have “lived a complete life” by age 75.
I will have loved and been loved. My children will be grown and in the midst of their own rich lives. I will have seen my grandchildren born and beginning their lives. I will have pursued my life’s projects and made whatever contributions, important or not, I am going to make. And hopefully, I will not have too many mental and physical limitations. Dying at 75 will not be a tragedy.
The Biden coronavirus task force member explained this his approach to his own health care “will completely change” when he reaches that age and that, while he won’t “actively end my life,” neither will he “try to prolong it.” (RELATED: Dave Chappelle On ‘SNL’: ‘Thank God For COVID, Someone Had To Lock These Murderous Whites Up’)
“Today, when the doctor recommends a test or treatment, especially one that will extend our lives, it becomes incumbent upon us to give a good reason why we don’t want it,” he wrote. “The momentum of medicine and family means we will almost invariably get it.”
Joe Biden will be 78-years-old when he is inaugurated.