Obamacare “Death Panels” Advisor Suggests a “Good Way” to Kill Yourself

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 3, 2013   |   6:34PM   |   Washington, DC

Obama administration “death panels” advisor Ezekiel Emanuel has an opinion column in the New York Times that should worry Americans.

In an attempt to take on drug companies that produce large bottles of pain relievers, Emanuel suggests that such drugs are a “good way” to kill yourself, even if the bottles are too large and contain too many capsules for his preference.

The article is clearly meant to advocates reducing suicides, with the title, A Simple Way to Reduce Suicides, but Emanuel uses a very poor choice of words to suggest there is a “good way” to kill yourself.

From Emanuel’s column:

EVERY year about a million Americans attempt suicide. […]

A good way to kill yourself is by overdosing on Tylenol or other pills. About 90 percent of the deaths from unintentional poisonings occur because of drugs, and not because of things like household cleaners or bleach.

There is a simple way to make medication less accessible for those who would deliberately or accidentally overdose — and that is packaging.

We need to make it harder to buy pills in bottles of 50 or 100 that can be easily dumped out and swallowed. We should not be selling big bottles of Tylenol and other drugs that are typically implicated in overdoses, like prescription painkillers and Valium-type drugs, called benzodiazepines. Pills should be packaged in blister packs of 16 or 25. Anyone who wanted 50 would have to buy numerous blister packages and sit down and push out the pills one by one. Turns out you really, really have to want to commit suicide to push out 50 pills. And most people are not that committed.

Emanuel’s column was meant to dissuade against suicide, but to write “A good way to kill yourself is by overdosing on Tylenol or other pills” is beyond the pale. Even in the context of writing about reducing suicides, Emanuel’s flippant comment suggesting there is a “good way” to kill yourself is counterproductive.

For people who are teetering on the edge of suicide, saying there is a “good way” to kill yourself is not helpful. Even if Emanuel didn’t meant to suggest there is a good way and a bad way of committing suicide, he should have re-thought his language and submit a correction or apology.

The conservative web site The Blaze  noticed the column and writer Meredith Jessup condemned what Emanuel wrote.

“First of all, there isn’t really a “good” way to kill yourself.  It’s odd that a medical doctor would a) claim there is a “good” way to commit suicide, and b) suggest an overdose on Tylenol is a “good” way to do it,” Jessup writes. “It’s not a pain med overdose lulls you into a peaceful eternal slumber.  Instead, your last experiences on earth are nausea, diarrhea and slow agonizing death as your brain swells and vital organs shut down one by one.  But I digress.”

That Jessup also read Emanuel’s words as suggesting a good versus a bad method of suicide makes it clear Emanuel poorly chose his words. And as someone who is known for supporting rationing health care, he should have been more careful.

Emanuel is the Obama “rationing czar” who said we have too much health care.

Emanuel is part of a school of thought that redefines a physician’s duty, insisting that it includes working for the greater good of society instead of focusing only on a patient’s needs. Many physicians find that view dangerous, and most Americans are likely to agree.

Bradley Mattes, the director of Life Issues Institute, says Emanuel was quoted in 1996 saying medical benefits of a government-controlled healthcare plan would not be given to “individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens.”

Emanuel clarified his stance by adding, “An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.”

As Mattes says, “If you don’t think the healthcare plan of Barack Obama and the leaders in Congress will result in widespread rationing of medical services,” then he urges Americans to pay attention to Emanuel.

“So who else will be killed by medical neglect under such a health plan? It will likely be patients with Down syndrome, Parkinson’s or one of many other debilitating illnesses,” Mattes continues.



He points to more recent comments from Emanuel defending discrimination against senior citizens in an article that appeared in the January 31, 2009 issue of the medical journal Lancet.

“Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious [offensive] discrimination,” Emanuel wrote.

As Mattes says in an email to LifeNews.com, “The ‘allocation’ he’s talking about is healthcare services — many of which are critical to sustaining life or at the very least, a better quality of life. We’re talking about everything from life-saving bypass surgery to joint replacements.”