Recently Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Rahm Emanuel’s brother wrote an article for “The Atlantic Magazine” on why Ezekiel wants to die at the age of 75. Here is just a part of that article.
“Once I have lived to 75, my approach to my health care will completely change. I won’t actively end my life. But I won’t try to prolong it, either. Toler wrote in his classic turn-of-the-century medical textbook, The Principles and Practice of Medicine: “Pneumonia may well be called the friend of the aged. Taken off by it in an acute, short, not often painful illness, the old man escapes those ‘cold gradations of decay’ so distressing to himself and to his friends.”day, 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. The momentum of medicine and family means we will almost invariably get it.
My attitude flips this default on its head. I take guidance from what Sir William Os
“My Osler-inspired philosophy is this: At 75 and beyond, I will need a good reason to even visit the doctor and take any medical test or treatment, no matter how routine and painless. And that good reason is not “It will prolong your life.” I will stop getting any regular preventive tests, screenings, or interventions. I will accept only palliative—not curative—treatments if I am suffering pain or other disability.”
In case you’ve forgotten Mr. Emanuel is the same person who appeared just over a year ago promoting the acceptance of the ACA/Obamacare and among other things said that the idea of a death panel as suggested by Sarah Palin was “ridiculous.” Clearly Ezekiel is selling the idea that American’s should get used to the concept of a health care system that will not support medical services for people 75 and older. You may say I’m reaching with this premise but let me give you an example. I’m 75 [sorry Ezekiel] and when I shifted to Medicare services one of my prescriptions, Renexa was not covered by Medicare. However my supplemental health care service did cover part of the cost. The prescription was $540 per refill and the supplemental insurance covers about 25 % of the cost. Last year in my annual renewal of supplemental health insurance I was notified about two months into the agreement that they would not cover any of Renexa. This medicine was very important to me because it relieved my severe angina pain. The ACA decided that this was an unnecessary medicine unless the individual was willing to pay for it totally out of his or her own pockets. Maybe they are right but it would appear this is the direction the health care services as provided by the government is going. While there may not be any death panels yet Sarah may be right and the government may be mounting a campaign with stories like Ezekiel’s article. The first step in moving away from health care services for people 75 and over.