Review: 'Through the Shadowlands’ describes Julie Rehmeyer's ME/CFS Odyssey
I should note at the outset that this review is based on an audio version of the galleys and the epilogue from the finished work. Julie Rehmeyer sent me the final version as a PDF, but for some reason my text to voice software (Kurzweil) had issues with it. I understand that it is...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

"Why I [Ezekiel Emanuel] Hope to Die at 75"

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Ren, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. Ren

    Ren .

    Messages:
    385
    Likes:
    665
    http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/09/why-i-hope-to-die-at-75/379329/

    "Ezekiel Emanuel is director of the Clinical Bioethics Department at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and heads the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania." As a more general FYI, he's also the older brother of Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.

    Dr. Emanuel makes his case for why a disabled and functionally limited life - one where a person has slowed down - isn't worth living; that death is a superior alternative to such a state of being; that disabled and functionally limited people have outlived their usefulness and simply burden their loved ones, the greater society, and waste resources.

    (First shared in another thread.)
     
    *GG* and Ecoclimber like this.
  2. adreno

    adreno PR activist

    Messages:
    4,843
    Likes:
    11,020
    What a moron. He fails to take into account the avancement of technology. Just because now many people over 75 has physical and mental disabilities doesn't mean it will still be like that say 20 years from now. If life can be extended - without major disability - I'm all for it.
     
    SpecialK82, zzz, *GG* and 3 others like this.
  3. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    Messages:
    5,328
    Likes:
    4,049
    N. California
    It sounds very Nazi-like... as in let's exterminate all those useless sicko "parasites."

    Very disturbing. He should watch The Roosevelts and see what FDR did in spite of his disability.
     
  4. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,158
    Likes:
    1,469
    I personally hope he gets his wish. Not for his daughter's sake (I feel bad for them), but for his own and for the sake of everyone his idiotic opinions might influence. I hope that for everyone who thinks like him. And, if he reaches 75 with no prospect of death in sight, I hope he has the courage to live up to his convictions and just off himself. As adreno said, what a moron.

    My mother is 78 and in better shape than me. ALL her bloodwork is better (fasting glucose, cholesterol, etc.). She works out 4 days per week. Drives, cleans her own house, etc. She looks a good 15 years younger than she is. She's slowing down a bit, but is still in better shape than many people I know who are my age. I can only hope to have half her vitality if I reach her age. I can't imagine why anyone would think her life should have ended at 75.

    Did anyone else in the U.S. notice that after the "Affordable Healthcare Act" passed (but before it was implemented) that suddenly we started seeing articles questioning the validity and necessity for all these diagnostics that are supposed to be good, proactive, preventative medicine, like mammograms, pelvic exams for women, etc. Suddenly, we started seeing all this propaganda about maybe these things weren't necessary, that the "evidence" didn't back them up, blah blah blah. How convenient.

    As things progress and it becomes more apparent just how expensive this debacle is going to be, expect to see many more happy, peppy, articles like this on the joys of a potentially early death (anyone want to bet that the marker moves backwards towards a younger age?), why we don't need certain (of the more expensive) routine preventative diagnostics tests any more, etc.

    says it all.

    You are being brainwashed by the apparatchiks, Comrades.

    If you want to swallow the Kool-aid, at least try to be aware what's in it and the motives behind the people serving it to you.

    That said, if people of sound mind are physically debilitated with no hope of physical recovery, and really *do* want to end their lives, they should be able to, in a comfortable manner. But State bureaucrats or any healthcare personnel (soon those terms may be synonymous) should have absolutely no say in the decision to end someone's life. Neither should any family members, unless the person has a written, legal directive and is unable to function. Choice for end of life should be at the behest of the person whose life would end, and only that person.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
  5. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,070
    Likes:
    1,401
    New Mexico
    hmmmmmmmmmmmm.............well, I guess I'm in the minority...I read the article and it sounds pretty practical to me.
     
    Wayne, Lou and Tito like this.
  6. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,158
    Likes:
    1,469
    Tammy, I used to think like this, too. On its face it all sounds so reasonable.

    It took me some years of informal study of history, political theory, literature, and psychology to realize why it's not.

    All I can say is that anyone who believes Ezekiel Emanuel is correct should live by their values.

    If you are in poor health at age 75, end your life, because it's unlikely you're ever going to get better.

    If you become sick after age 75, refuse all healthcare and let yourself die. Or, again, end your life. Because after 75 it's unlikely you'll ever truly recover.

    That sounds harsh, but that is the stark, realistic endpoint of Ezekiel Emanuel's viewpoint.

    What really freaks me out is that this man is part of the bureaucracy in charge of how our healthcare is delivered. If people highly placed in a government bureacracy believe a thing, it's often a hop-skip-and-a-jump until those beliefs are foisted on the rest of us, whether we want them or not.

    I don't know how old Zeke is right now, but I hope I'm around to see if he reaches 75, what kind of shape he's in, and how he conducts himself in the face of illness after his self-imposed benchmark. I'll bet my house his personal benchmark moves forward with his age, regardless of how poor his health, and regardless of whatever he thinks may be good for us lesser mortals.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
    SDSue, zzz, PennyIA and 1 other person like this.
  7. Tito

    Tito Senior Member

    Messages:
    300
    Likes:
    421
    Personally, I quite like his point of view. He does not force it on anyone, and what he really talks about is quality of life. Extending life with zero quality is the medical approach followed today everywhere in the world. This is exactly what is done to ME sufferers. No quality of life? Who cares, you are alive so nothing to worry about!

    What this guy is talking about is being a human being, not just being a body that must be maintained whatever the cost. He wants to be remembered for the person he really was, his sense of humour, his witty intelligence, etc. not for the wreck he'll become with dementia. I also like his view of positioning a person via his/her role in the family, like being a patriarch, passing down the wisdom of life to the younger generation.

    I find it refreshing.
     
    Wayne and Tammy like this.
  8. Ren

    Ren .

    Messages:
    385
    Likes:
    665
    Emanuel believes that death is a superior state than being slower than average. Slow. That's it. Slow.

    Emanuel believes the value of human life is determined by the herd (of which he is a leader - read: propaganda), in respect to an individual's ability to produce for the herd (no matter how shallow the tastes of the herd). It's factory farming of humans. It's culling the herd of those in the lower pecking order, as determined by a state "expert".

    And individuals with ME/CFS, for example, - i.e. individuals within the slower-than-average group - according to this leading NIH official, should choose death in order to better unburden their loved ones and society.

    I find it grotesque, dehumanizing, and totalitarian. He's painted a target on anyone with any impairment.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
    anniekim, Scarecrow, SDSue and 7 others like this.
  9. Nielk

    Nielk

    Messages:
    6,877
    Likes:
    10,609
    I couldn't even read the whole article. My blood was boiling. (and it was too long for my cognitive issues) Who made him the judge of the value of any human individual? Just a smile, given to the right person at the right time could mean more than what he considers a highly productive function of an individual. Is the fact that he is able to climb a mountain with his nephews now make him a productive member of society?

    He is basically deciding whose life is worthwhile. Should people who were born with diminished mental capacity refuse medical intervention because in some (demented) people's minds their lives are not worth living, because they are not as productive than others?

    But, you know what they say: "While man plans, God laughs". He might think that he will be in control of his future destiny, but.....
     
    anniekim, rosie26, john66 and 4 others like this.
  10. Ecoclimber

    Ecoclimber Senior Member

    Messages:
    988
    Likes:
    2,424
    Well, this certainly will lend fuel to the policies of the health, medical and insurance industries. I can imagine that they are jumping at the chance to dust off the notebooks of Josef Mengele.

    Many in this country as well as in others are of the opinion that if one is not a productive member of society, then you are an expendable parasite. Their mantro rallies around the idea of why should taxpayers spend their hard earned dollars to support people who just sit around expecting entitlements? They adhere to the ideals that all benefits should be eliminated and that the 'Great Society' implemented by Roosevelt should be dismantled. A strong adherent to that philosophy is being promoted by Congressman Paul Ryan head of the Congressional Budget Committee whose ideological stalwart is Ayn Rand. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/07/7-ways-paul-ryan-revealed-his-love-for-ayn-rand.html.

    The recent UK referendum on Scotland separating from the UK was based on the fact on Tory government policies systemically dismantling the 'welfare state' which was opposed by many liberals in Scotland.

    Such policies are short sighted and impacts current and future scientific and medical research into extending the quality of life for future generations. Since he is the director of the Clinical Bioethics Department at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, it certainly gives light to the recent philosophical policy changes of the NIH concerning those with chronic illnesses...Ref: P2P.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
    Ren likes this.
  11. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,138
    Likes:
    4,733
    Concord, NH
    Couldn't agree with you more! I think this speaks poorly for people in gov't controlled healthcare, which we are heading down the road into more and more!

    Born in 1957, so he only has another 18 years. Deathwatch starts now!

    Hope the party that brought Obamacare into being are happy and proud, and follow their leader(s)!

    GG
     
    john66, Ren, Nielk and 1 other person like this.
  12. Lou

    Lou Senior Member

    Messages:
    582
    Likes:
    432
    southeast US

    It's not exactly a 'debacle' for many of us. I'd ask you to explain, but don't wish to risk getting regurgitated Fox News.

    It would seem much more likely to me that insurance companies, not the government, are behind push for less medical tests. And there's actually some good science behind some of the reductions such as the case with too many mammograms for certain age groups.

    In your informal study of 'political theory' I wonder if you have the same objections to Ayn Rand's views of modifying society, whether 'just let the parasites(no distinction for young or old) die off' holds a more significant smell of fascism? When she died not yet resurrected by likes of Greenspan and Rand Paul she died off on Social Security and Medicare. Did someone mention hypocrite?
     
    Ema, Wayne, zzz and 1 other person like this.
  13. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,903
    Likes:
    4,659
    my former boss, a cardiologist, had a massive stroke while traveling with his wife, whom he loved very much. he was semi-retired and was in good health. a wonderful man in every way. he happened to pass away in a religious temple too....painless. he was 75. i always felt that would be the best way to go.

    my mother is 79 and also in better health than i and has more energy.

    they say that for the first time in history, offspring are dying earlier than their parents.
     
  14. Lou

    Lou Senior Member

    Messages:
    582
    Likes:
    432
    southeast US
    I'm not at all saying we should off ourselves at 75, but that the notion of letting nature takes its course at that time without all the medical dallying is not completely absurd to me.

    Maybe some of the American Indian tribes had it about right. When one got old and feeble and they saw the burden on others they simply (maybe it could be said, nobly) slipped off in the night and died away from the tribe. A bit like what outside dogs do, too, when it's their time. They're definitely noble, imo.
     
    Wayne, Tito, ahmo and 1 other person like this.
  15. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,158
    Likes:
    1,469
    Ren, I wish there was a way to "Like" that post 1000 times. I simultaneously wish there was no need for you to ever make a post like that.

    @Lou: FWIW, I've never watched more than five minutes of Fox News in my entire life. It makes me wish my head would explode so I wouldn't have to see/hear it ever again. In fact, I don't watch news at all any more, even local, except for the weather, particularly because of the appalling hyperpartisanship that's cropping up absolutely everywhere these days. My own father left journalism back in the '70's because the field was becoming such a partisan fever swamp. Nobody was (or is) interested in reporting facts or breaking scandals about corruption if the reporter and the corrupt share the same ideology.

    I keep up with current events, but I pick and choose my sources from the internet. I like a balance of views, not the relentless spoon-feeding of TV news.

    But thanks for your highly original, witty prognostication as to the source of any opinion you don't agree with. It gave me my first belly chuckle today. :lol:

    I do happen to agree with you about the tests. Primarily what I was questioning was the timing of policy reversal. For years we heard it was proven that these tests were crucial, the science behind them was settled and they were proven adjuncts to preventative care, etc. People like me who eschewed mammograms because of potential radiation concerns were tut-tutted by all and sundry. The government was a main proponent of urging us to take care of ourselves in this "preventative" manner.

    Then we enact a government program that will have to pay for these crucial yearly tests for a very, very large number of people, and suddenly we begin to hear hey, maybe those tests aren't so crucial after all.

    As I said: how convenient.

    Here's the thing: private insurance was bad enough. I think most of us know that care rationing for more than just pre-existing conditions would have happened a long time ago if the private insurance companies had had their way.

    The thing the private insurance companies had against them was that they were ostensibly *private*. Yes, with big business there is always corruption, but basically, there was no government involvement in the making of care decisions. Government was not completely complicit with the insurance companies. Private individuals paid the premiums, so government had no incentive to try to keep costs down, except lame efforts here and there in the form of price freezes, to pander to public opinion. Plus, insurance companies were responsible for following government guidelines with regards to dispensiing care, or they could get in trouble.

    NOW, however, government and the insurance companies are openly in bed together. The government is a primary payer of premiums and monies to the insurance companies, so bureaucrats AND insurance company execs have a vested interest in taking measures that will lower costs. Government is no longer an objective onlooker when it comes to healthcare costs. Government is now in the exact same position as a private business: keeping costs down is of benefit, as is charging the highest dollar amount the market will bear. There is nothing to prevent these two powerful and notoriously greedy entities from colluding to lower healthcare costs while at the same time hiking healthcare taxes and "private" premiums to enrich the coffers of both.

    Plus, insurance company execs now have an even bigger pipeline into the shaping of healthcare policy than they ever did before.

    We now have a healthcare version of how the Pentagon buys hammers.

    I'm really sorry if you can't see the problem with that, or if you think the people who do have a problem with it simply watch too much Fox News.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
    Ren likes this.
  16. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,158
    Likes:
    1,469
    FWIW, I totally agree with this.

    But it should be the choice of the individual, and not a government bureaucrat, healthcare exec, or even the individual's family.

    What ol' Zeke is urging us toward is a viewpoint that establishes a norm for health and energy, and that death should be the preferred state by anyone who functions below it. Again, so well said by Ren.

    Some can find happiness in functioning at a less than optimal state of health. Others can't cope. Still others think they couldn't cope and then amazingly change their minds when they find they actually have to live with a less than optimal state of health. I suspect good ol' Zeke falls into the latter category (most people who espouse his views do, speaking of hypocrisy), but only time will tell.

    Nobody but the person affected should have the power to make the decision of whether or not it's worth it just to keep breathing.

    For a highly placed government official in our primary national healthcare agency to sugges that there should be a norm below which life is not worth living is at best inappropriate, at worst, deliberate propaganda. And he does it in such a reasonable, good-natured manner, too!
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
    Ren likes this.
  17. Lou

    Lou Senior Member

    Messages:
    582
    Likes:
    432
    southeast US
    @whodathunkit Really, not five minutes in your entire life? Guess so, if you say it, but there's probably less than 1% of even the most liberal democrats can accurately state that.

    Hey, re FXN, I've been wrong before, often, but think it things like hopscotching maybe ten steps to get to 'it should be the choice of the individual, not a government bureaucrat' in referring to who should decide about end of life. Where did he advocate some bureaucrat to decide when anyone dies? That just reminds me of .... you know?

    And maybe, too, the sermon-like zeal in setting me straight. Must be exhausting. I'm proving here a bit like that, myself, lol.
     
    geraldt52 likes this.
  18. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,379
    Likes:
    24,200
    USA
    That was a sickening article to read while I am here in the hospital trying to get better. Although I am only 43 so I guess I am still allowed to receive care by his rules.

    My father is 80 and my mom is 76 and both are in excellent health. They go out dancing twice a week and can take my dog on long walks and travel as they please.

    If my parents stopped life at his arbitrary cut off of 75 yrs old, they would not have walked me down the aisle at my wedding two years ago. They would not be loving grandparents to my step daughter and niece and there would be a huge void in my life.

    This guy would have killed off Betty White like 20 yrs ago who is still thriving and bringing people joy in her 90's.

    What I got out of the article is that he has a huge fear of illness, death, and no longer being viewed as useful. He fails to see that a person can be old or sick and still have a lot to contribute to this world.
     
    Ren, SpecialK82, whodathunkit and 7 others like this.
  19. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member

    Messages:
    950
    Likes:
    3,987
  20. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,379
    Likes:
    24,200
    USA
    What does that mean?
     

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page