Leading US doctor says he could well additionally now now not salvage cure if he will get cancer after 75


One of America's leading doctors shocked the world when at age 57, he announced he only wanted to live to 75. As he gets closer to that age, is he sticking to his plan? In the October 2014 Atlantic article Why I Hope to Die at 75, Dr.

Ezekiel Emanuel vowed that when he hit that age, his approach to his health care will completely change that while he won't actively end his life, he wouldn't try to prolong it. He cited statistics on how America.

Is living longer and why that wasn't necessarily a good thing. In 1900, the life expectancy of an average American was approximately 47 years. By 1990, it was over 75. Since his article appeared, the number peaked in 2019 at nearly 79.

But due in part to COVID 19, it most recently was measured at around 76 and a half. Dr. Emanuel also showed this sobering chart about how creative productivity falls off a cliff after one's early sixties. He points out that when parents routinely live to 95,.

Children must care take into their own retirement. However, now it's more than eight years later and he's 65 and looking pretty good by the way. So how's he feeling about all of this? Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel joins me now. He's an oncologist, bioethicist,.

A senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Also vice provost for global initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania. Welcome back. Your title was Why I Hope to Die at 75. But really, what you were writing about was quality of life, not just longevity. Right.

Yes. And your audience should remember that authors do not give their articles, titles, editors do. And editors have an interest in pumping up sales, not necessarily in being totally accurate. Yeah. Look at 75.

It's not a matter of do I want medical interventions if I happen to be skiing or something, I would definitely take medical interventions. If I say broke my hip or injured my knee, that's definitely the case. And if I'm in serious pain, I would take pain medications.

The thing I was saying is that what I don't want to do is say take chemotherapy if I got cancer at that point. And those are important distinctions. I'm not saying stop medical care, which is what that title and a lot of the language around this. Okay.

But Dr. Emanuel, there there are a lot of interventions. I'm going to put them on the screen that you say when you hit 75, you're no longer interested in regular preventive tests, screenings,.

Interventions, colon, icecaps and other cancer screening tests, cardiac stress test, pacemaker, implantable defibrillator, heart valve replacement or bypass surgery, flu shots or antibiotics. Ventilators, dialysis, surgery, medication.

God forbid if you get cancer, you're just going to let it ride Yes, sir. And you know what? You know, Michael, a lot of those interventions, they're not necessarily pleasant interventions, especially cancer, chemotherapy.

I'm an oncologist, as you mentioned, and I know a lot about them. And I think the real question is not at that moment. The real question is, how do you want to live your life? What is quality of life mean to you? And, you know, I'm pretty clear about what it means to me.

And the reason I wrote that article was to suggest that people need to be clear about what it means to them. I wasn't telling everyone to do what I do. I said, you need to think about it. You just can't sort of blindly go into old age,.

Which I think unfortunately happens to many, many people. And the medical system will do what the medical system does, regardless of what your philosophy of life is. And what I was urging people think about.

What's important to you. You know, what's important to me is to be mentally active, mentally engaged, doing what I can do to make the world a better place. I want to be physically calm and you wait I want to be with Dr.

Emanuel. Yeah. Your father your father lived to 92. I think your mother is still with us. You were dealt a really good hand. You're still taking the under And look, you're exactly right, Michael. I may turn out to be what I call in the article, an outlier.

Right. I was talking about, on average, just because not everyone can be an outlier, almost all of us will be outliers. But by definition, that's not true. On average, there's a problem. And let me point out a statistic. You mentioned at the top.

That our average life expectancy is going down. What that really means is that a lot of young people are not living to 75. That's the real tragedy that our system has not made everyone be able to live a healthy life to 75.

That's what we should be aiming for. Living to a hundred or living to 90. You know, those extra years, they're not in your thirties or forties, they're in your nineties. And that's not necessarily where people anticipate that extra year or month.

Or whatever it's going to be. And I'm pretty clear in my own mind about the fact that I want to be vigorous until the end. And that's what's important to me, that the end is 75 or 80 or whatever it's going to be. I think the tragedy is we have too many Americans.

Not making it to 75. As you draw closer to 75, is the Emanuel clan lobbying putting pressure on you to reconsider? Look, I have I've had discussions with my partner extensively about this. If I'm an outlier, as I think.

I've said in public before. If I'm vigorous, I like Tony Foushee still being active, still making major contributions into my eighties. You know that I'll have to reconsider. And I fully aware of that. I said that in the article that 75 was a sort of average age.

It's not what I mean. What's important is the quality that at that point when you hit 90 I want to book the interview, God willing, that I'm able to pull it off myself. Okay. So can we,.

Can we put that in the date book right now? I'll be a law. I would be an amazing outlier if that were true. Michael, you know, there are outliers. I just put up a Coursera course on Ben Franklin. He was an outlier way back in the 1700s.

Where at when he was, I think 82. He participated in the Constitution convention gave a very very famous and a speech at the end of the Constitutional Convention that's worth looking at. He wrote part of his autobiography at the end.

He was very vigorous all the way until 84 when he died. You know God willing I should be like that. Dr. Emanuel, thank you. I wish you good health Take care. Nice to be with you.

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