By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.
Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel, the brother of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has stirred up some controversy about dying.
Zeke, who is 57 years of age, says he hopes to die at the age of 75.
An article that he wrote on the subject was published last month in the Atlantic. | Article |
He also explained why death at age 75 is right for him in a recent interview on ABC News. | Article |
Emanuel contends that by age 75, he will have “lived a complete life.”
He also contends that “society and families – and you – will be better off.”
He associates “living too long” with decline and frailty, if not disability; the loss of creativity; and the loss of the “ability to contribute to work, society and the world.”
I find it curious given Emanuel’s position as Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania that “society” comes before “family” and before “you” in his wording and that he equates losing one’s ability to contribute to society with “living too long.”
Also, despite growing evidence to the contrary, Emanuel does not believe that that we can live decades beyond 75 and die without much in the way of aches, pains and the deterioration of the body and mind.
To his credit, Emanuel is not talking about ending his life through suicide or euthanasia, both of which actively opposes.
His focus is on the amount of health care that he will agree to and the steps that he says he will not take to try and prolong his life.
Here are some of the reasons why I disagree with Emanuel:
Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author, has spent years studying locations in the world where people are most likely to live the longest, healthiest and happiest. One of the locations is Loma Linda, California. Based on his research, Dan has a much different view on aging. He contends we have two choices – “living a shorter life with more years of disability or the longest life possible with the fewest bad years.” Dan is featured in a Blog on “What You Can Learn from Communities Where People Live Past 100” that was posted on the Forbes website on Sept. 29, 2014. | Blog |
A report published in the July 12, 2013 of the New Scientist cites research by the Danish Aging Research Center that indicates that people in their 90s are getting smarter. | Article |
Sir George Martin, at the age of 80, co-produced the Beatles’ album “Love,” which is the soundtrack to a Cirque du Soleil play. The “Love” album was released in November 2006, nearly 40 years after “When I’m Sixty-Four” – a song that viewed 64 as old.
Pablo Picasso, at the age of 90, was still producing drawings and engravings.
An American composer by the name of Elliot Carter didn’t write his first opera until after he turned 90. Between his 90th and 100th Birthdays, he published more than 40 works.
A resident of the Heritage Woods affordable assisted living community that we manage in Bolingbrook, Illinois, took up wood carving at the age of 92. At the age of 96, Manny Shellist carved the Gettysburg Address into an 8-foot high display. The display has been featured at the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois. | Photo Gallery |
Over the coming months, I will be providing other examples.
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What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know.