Dr. Emanuel says he wants Americans to develop their own philosophy of aging so they know in advance what decisions they want to make about their own health as they age into their 70s and 80s.

Dr. Emanuel says he wants Americans to develop their own philosophy of aging so they know in advance what decisions they want to make about their own health as they age into their 70s and 80s.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is someone who understands how medicine can both save lives and improve the quality of it. That’s why it came as a shock to many when he wrote in 2014 that he would decline all medical treatment after age 75. He explained that here in the U.S., we chase longevity without asking whether those extra years are worth it.

“Here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long is also a loss,” he said at the time. “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.”

Right now, Dr. Emanuel is 65. He talked to Diane on this week’s episode of On My Mind to revisit his essay – and also debate a topic close to Diane’s heart – medical aid in dying.

Guests

  • Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and Co-Director of the Health Transformation Institute, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

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