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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Aging Process... is life over at 75?

In early December, 2014, Lynnda and I were driving from Mexico to Niagara in Canada... 2,500 miles. The objective was to return our German built vehicle to Canada for sale, since we had been unsuccessful in resolving issues with the quality of Mexican diesel fuel... it seems the pollution control devices in the vehicle were causing problems. We also experienced importation problems because the German built vehicle is not a NAFTA car. Seems odd, but both these issues, after two years of working the system, were too much, even in Mexico... we had to give up!

There was a great benefit of this drive, in that we got to listen to CBC Radio (Canada) and to NPR (America)... both of which have excellent, well researched articles, all day... the car has Sirius Satellite radio, so for four and a half days, we educated ourselves on current affairs; new science breakthroughs; historical programming and so on.

One of the most intriguing articles we heard was from CBC's Michael Enright's broadcast on his program Sunday Edition, on December 10, 2014. It was an interview with Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel who is an oncologist, treating cancer patients (mostly breast cancer). He is also a well published medical ethicist known for positions on euthanasia, medicare, and the dilemmas of human aging.

Lynnda and I were very interested in the discussion of Dr. Emanuel's position that would have him, and his recommendation is for most of us, stop trying to extend our lives past the age of 75. He wasn't talking about rights to die, or to live for that matter... he was putting forward the idea that after age 75, the average person has past his/her growth curve... loosing quality of life through chronic diseases and just wearing down... that we have generally lost our creativity at that stage... and our positive potential impact on our loved ones, the economy and so on.

The interview was captivating... Michael Enright is an excellent interviewer and asked many of the questions we both had... interestingly, the first person with whom we visited on arriving in Niagara also listened to the article and was similarly intrigued. I won't try and interpret Dr. Emanuel here... but I have re-listened to the article by CBC podcast... and I have read the article in the Atlantic. I am not sure I agree with the good Doctor... but he has raised my antenna, and as I continue to age, and accumulate spare parts and lose those we can do without, I have to admit... I get it!

This is a podcast of the interview... starting at the 4:52 point on the podcast listed below, here... http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/The+Sunday+Edition/Full+Episodes/ID/2626837745/

This is a link Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel's article in The Atlantic Magazine published in the October, 2014 issue: http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/09/why-i-hope-to-die-at-75/379329/

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Grad. Saint Mary's University, 1975, got into the medical device business initially in sales, then various management positions up to president, all in Medical Devices. I prefer therapy products over diagnostic, but they are all fun, and in a way have defined my life. I have now evolved, with help from my 35 year partner Lynnda with whom I now share every hour. I am into staying healthy, photography, kayaking, bicycling, gardening and two books a week. I wish I had gotten to this stage earlier!