AMA criticizes Emanuel's 75 years and out philosophy

The liberals laughed when I-can-see-Russia-from-my-house Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin predicted that Obamacare would lead to death panels and forced death for those too old or too sick to ensure cost-effectiveness for their continuing health care.  But the laughter stopped when medical/bioethicist – and one of the main designers of ObamaCare – Ezekiel Emanuel publicly stated in Atlantic Monthly:

Why I Hope to Die at 75

An argument that society and families—and you—will be better off if nature takes its course swiftly and promptly

But here, too, living as long as possible has drawbacks we often won’t admit to ourselves. I will leave aside the very real and oppressive financial and caregiving burdens that many, if not most, adults in the so-called sandwich generation are now experiencing, caught between the care of children and parents. Our living too long places real emotional weights on our progeny. (snip)

But parents also cast a big shadow for most children. Whether estranged, disengaged, or deeply loving, they set expectations, render judgments, impose their opinions, interfere, and are generally a looming presence for even adult children. This can be wonderful. It can be annoying. It can be destructive. But it is inescapable as long as the parent is alive. 

As noted at AT earlier, one of the oh so convenient results of Emanuel's "incredibly vile and dangerous article" is "[t]hat way, the government saves a lot of money, you see."

Although Emanuel stressed that 75 and out was his personal opinion and he would not force it on others, his do not pass 75, go directly to the grave philosophy upset many members of the American Medical Association.  At their meeting last week  AMA delegates discussed:

... whether to issue a formal declaration that Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel ran afoul of the AMA Code of Medical Ethics
Dr. Gregory Pinto, an AMA delegate from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., to introduce a resolution (PDF) calling for the AMA to declare its opposition to Emanuel's position because it runs contrary to the AMA Code of Ethics. (snip)

Pinto wrote in the resolution that Emanuel “expressed an opinion that life is less valuable with advancing age,” and noted that “such a sentiment is even more disturbing because it comes from one of the architects of national healthcare policy.”
The resolution calls on the AMA to issue a statement declaring its opposition to Emanuel's stance and to note how its disagreement is based on principles found in its Code of Ethics. It also calls on the AMA Foundation “to make it clear” that the AMA doesn't endorse every position taken by the foundation's award recipients and for the foundation to rescind Emanuel's award.

Former AMA President Dr. Donald Palmisano, a clinical professor of surgery and medical jurisprudence at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, also had harsh words for Emanuel. He also referred to Emanuel as “a chief architect” of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“Dr. Emanuel's article is his opinion,” Palmisano wrote in the Sept. 28 edition of his DJP Update online newsletter. “But if the government adopts such an approach though the IPAB (Independent Payment Advisory Board) of PPACA or some other scheme yet to be devised, then we have a problem!”
Palmisano also acknowledged his personal stake in the issue.

“I am 75 years old,” he wrote. “And I tell the medical students I teach at Tulane if some future government edict states people my age should be ignored and put on a gurney in the corner of the emergency department if they are in an auto accident, don't follow the rule.”

Ironically, last year the AMA honored Emanuel as one:

... “who has made an outstanding contribution through active service in medical ethics activities and demonstrated dedication to the principles of medical ethics and the highest standards of medical practice.”

"Dr. Emanuel's devotion to improving the medical profession through extensive ethics research and education serves as a shining example of a distinguished career in service of others," AMA Foundation President Dr. Edmond Cabbabe said in a release at the time.

The resolution condemning Emanuel's medical ethics did not pass, and the AMA decided that Emanuel can still keep his AMA medical ethnics award.  But as the Chicago Tribune reported:

... the outrage sparked by Emanuel's article was a reminder of the charged nature of debates over the country's health care system. (snip)

Emanuel was not available to comment for this story, a representative told the Tribune. Pinto did not respond to a request for comment.

When the 57-year-old Emanuel hopefully reaches his self-imposed 75 years earthly final destination, will he still hold on to his younger philosophy, or will he decide that life is still worth living?  

Tune in in 18 years and find out.

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