Thursday, November 13, 2014

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD penned a controversial opinion piece for The Atlantic on why he would hope to die at 75. This piece created a firestorm of pushback, including a resolution at the recent interim AMA meeting by MSSNY's own Greg Pinto, MD to rebuke Dr. Emanuel. While the resolution was ultimately defeated, Dr. Pinto's principled stance was not the only voice heard in opposition to Dr. Emanuel. One piece in particular by Brant Mittler MD JD was posted on MedpageToday.

My reaction to Zeke's article is one of disgust and outrage. Even if he is the smartest guy in the room, he's dumb when it comes to understanding what the average person wants. How dare he claim to know that someone over age 75 who walks slowly, has some memory lapses, and has some medical disabilities and limited resources doesn't deserve to enjoy music, sunsets, or the company of children and grandchildren?

And why will Zeke stop at age 75? When will he and his political cronies -- of both major political parties -- decide that a disabled paraplegic wounded warrior is consuming more than he is contributing?

While Emanuel claims he's only musing about his own personal decision to forgo colonoscopy after age 65 and flu shots, antibiotics, cancer care, and doctor visits after age 75, his writings are dangerous because they influence major media and national leaders.

The subtitle of this irresponsible article proves he wants to influence you to follow his lead, while he admits at the end of the article he reserves the right to change his mind. Sure, you jump off the cliff first. Zeke will follow you. Not.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

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