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Pro-life professor questions why CNN gives platform to medical rationing advocate

University of Michigan ethicist asks why Zeke Emmanuel ‘continues to double down on his ageist & ableist views’

A pro-life professor at the University of Michigan wants to know why a healthcare rationing advocate continues to receive air time for his views.

Dr. Kristin Collier previously drew criticism for her opposition to the killing of preborn babies in the womb, but survived a cancelation attempt by some medical students at the Big Ten university.

She questioned why she received harsh pushback but University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel gets a platform to push his argument that senior citizens should not seek medical care in many cases.

“[F]ind it strange that I got death threats earlier this year for defending the youngest members of our human family yet one of the most notable physician bioethicists in the academy continues to double down on his ageist & ableist views & there is scant outrage. this am on @CNN,” Collier tweeted on Saturday.

“Dr Emanuel wrote a piece on this several years ago in the @TheAtlantic. and he isn’t just saying it’s his belief for himself but argues that everyone (‘societies, families, you’) will be better off if you aren’t around past age 75,” Collier tweeted.

Emanuel advised both President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden on healthcare policy.

Emanuel, now a vice provost at Penn, has previously written in support of healthcare rationing and urged 75-year-olds to stop pursuing primary care. “After 75, if I develop cancer, I will refuse treatment,” he wrote in 2014. “Similarly, no cardiac stress test. No pacemaker and certainly no implantable defibrillator. No heart-valve replacement or bypass surgery.”

He reiterated his stance in a Saturday interview on CNN. “You can’t go blindly into old age,” Emanuel said. He said he would take “medical interventions” if he was in “serious pain” or broke a body part, but he would not “take chemotherapy” if he got cancer.

Host Michael Smerconish pushed back on Emanuel and listed common interventions that the Penn academic said he won’t take part in, such as colonoscopies and flu shots.

“Yes, sir” Emanuel said when Smerconish asked if he was just going to “let it ride” if he gets cancer.

Dr. Collier called the ethicist views “incredibly ableist” for linking human value to productivity.

The Penn vice provost “says you are ‘pathetic’ if you can’t contribute in terms of work & creativity which is not only incredibly ableist but aligns with our consumerism culture where often your value is linked with how much you can produce and consume,” Collier tweeted.

“[W]hen our leading ethicists and physicians hold these views it matters as they help shape public opinion and draft policies (unsurprisingly) that disadvantage older adults,” she tweeted. “[L]ike this piece by Emanuel during the pandemic where he chose to allocate scare resources to younger people.”

“[T]hose of us who care about people of advanced age and with various levels of ability and disability need to voice their outrage at this way of thinking that will continue to erode at the very core of the good of medicine,” she wrote.

MORE: Ezekiel Emanuel planned to flout COVID social distancing rules


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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.