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Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel on ‘Why I Hope to Die at 75’

In a provocative recent essay for The Atlantic, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an architect of the Affordable Care Act and a leading national expert on health policy, offered a deeply personal explanation for “Why I Hope to Die at 75.” The article ignited a national conversation about whether Americans surrender quality of life in our quest to live longer.

In this one-hour webinar, Dr. Emanuel shared personal and policy insights that promise to help you deepen your journalism on aging and medical interventions at the end of life. In a presentation and Q&A period, he presented research on old age and increasing disability, and discussed hard truths often overlooked in our rush to extend life at any cost. This webinar is sure to inspire journalists to rethink their own coverage of these issues and generate fresh ideas for reporting. 

Here is Dr. Emanuel's PowerPoint presentation: 


When: Presented by USC Annenberg on December 12, from 10 to 11 a.m. PST (1 to 2 p.m. EST).

Suggested reading 


Why I Hope to Die at 75,” by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, The Atlantic

Better, if Not Cheaper, Care,” by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, The New York Times

Why Ezekiel Emanuel is wrong to ‘hope’ for death at 75,” by Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

Why Everything You Think About Aging May Be Wrong,” by Anne Tergesen, The Wall Street Journal

Why Elders Smile,” by David Brooks, The New York Times


Mortality and Morbidity Trends: Is There Compression of Morbidity?, by Eileen M. Crimmins, Journal of Gerontology

Trends in the Health of the Elderly,” by Eileen M. Crimmins, Annual Review of Public Health

Healthy life expectancy for 187 countries, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010,” via the Harvard School of Public Health and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. (Research paper here.) 

Creative Expertise: A Life-Span Developmental Perspective,” by Dean Keith Simonton

Selective narrowing of social networks across adulthood is associated with improved emotional experience in daily life,” (PDF) by Tammy English and Laura L. Carstensen, International Journal of Behavioral Development

"Do Unto Others: Doctors' Personal End-of-Life Resuscitation Preferences and Their Attitudes toward Advance Directives," by Vyjeyanthi S. Periyakoil et al., PLOS ONE

The Health Matters Webinar series is supported by the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation. The Center for Health Journalism is solely responsible for the selection of webinar topics and speakers.


The pandemic is far from over but crucial COVID-19 protections and benefits are gone. In our next webinar, we'll explore the end of renter protections, unemployment benefits and other emergency relief, and what it means for the nation’s pandemic recovery and the health and well-being of low-income people and their communities. Glean story ideas and crucial context. Sign-up here!

Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States?  Apply now for one of our positions. 


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