[Physician Ezekiel] 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.
Q: Are the anti-aging drugs in development just a bid for immortality by the back door?
A: Certainly. You listen to these people and their lingo is not “We’re just trying to get rid of problems.” Right? It’s “We want to live longer.”
Q: You have described the “American immortal”—people interested in life extension and immortality.
A: There is this view that longevity, living forever—and if not forever, 250 or 1,000 years—is really what we ought to be aiming at. And once you’ve got cultural leaders, or opinion leaders, saying this, people glom onto it. And it feeds into a whole situation of “Yes, dying is a bad thing.”
I do fear death. But I think I fear being sort of decrepit and falling apart more.
Read full, original post: A doctor and medical ethicist argues life after 75 is not worth living