Biden coronavirus advisory board member said living past 75 has virtually no value

by Peter Heck · Nov 11th, 2020 8:33 am

Last Updated Nov 12th, 2020 at 7:03 pm

One of Joe Biden's recently announced coronavirus advisory board members, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, is facing criticism for remarks he made in a 2014 article from The Atlantic.

There, the oncologist and bioethicist complained about how "living too long" would negatively impact society.

"Doubtless, death is a loss," Emanuel wrote. "It deprives us of experiences and milestones, of time spent with our spouse and children. In short, it deprives us of all the things we value. But here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long is also a loss. 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. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic."

Emanuel also lamented the "real and oppressive financial and caregiving burdens" inflicted upon many middle-age adults, saying Americans' desire to live a long life is imprudent.

"I think this manic desperation to endlessly extend life is misguided and potentially destructive," Emanuel wrote. "For many reasons, 75 is a pretty good age to aim to stop. … We are growing old, and our older years are not of high quality."

The man who will be advising a potential President Biden on how to deal with a disease disproportionately endangering the health of elderly people reaffirmed his views that elderly people are not doing any "meaningful work" during a 2019 interview.

"These people who live a vigorous life to 70, 80, 90 years of age – when I look at what those people ‘do,' almost all of it is what I classify as play," he remarked. "It's not meaningful work. They're riding motorcycles; they're hiking. Which can all have value – don't get me wrong. But if it's the main thing in your life? Ummm, that's not probably a meaningful life."

🔦 Biden, the man who has tabbed Emanuel to serve on his advisory board, is 77.


There are 57 comments on this article.

You must become a subscriber or login to view or post comments on this article.