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Why I Hope to Die at 75

Ezekiel J. Emanuel, The Atlantic, October 2014

“Americans may live longer than their parents, but they are likely to be more incapacitated. Does that sound very desirable? Not to me.”
Ezekiel J. Emanuel

The compression of morbidity “…this theory postulates that as we extend our life spans into the 80s and 90s, we will be living healthier lives—more time before we have disabilities, and fewer disabilities overall. The claim is that with longer life, an ever smaller proportion of our lives will be spent in a state of decline.

Compression of morbidity is a quintessentially American idea. It tells us exactly what we want to believe: that we will live longer lives and then abruptly die with hardly any aches, pains, or physical deterioration—the morbidity traditionally associated with growing old. It promises a kind of fountain of youth until the ever-receding time of death. It is this dream—or fantasy—that drives the American immortal and has fueled interest and investment in regenerative medicine and replacement organs.”

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