The Sunday Magazine

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel says 75 is a good age to die

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel has an unusual ambition. He wants to die when he is 75. He doesn't have a terminal illness. And he has no plans to commit suicide....
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who was born in 1957, has an unusual ambition, a hope, really. He wants to die when he is 75. 

He doesn't have a terminal illness. And he has no plans to commit suicide.

He leads an active productive life. He recently climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with two nephews. But come 2032, he will, without any fuss, refuse all tests and treatments. He will allow his body to take its natural course.

He is very serious about his intentions. In fact, he argues that 75 is a good age for most of us to die. 

Dr. Emanuel is one of the most renowned and esteemed physicians in the United States. An oncologist, he is currently the Chair of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He has received dozens of awards from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society.

His career has not been without controversy. In 1997, he wrote an essay in which he condemned the practice of physician assisted suicide. Dr. Emanuel spoke with Michael from a studio in Philadelphia. 


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