Ezekiel Emanuel is the Chair of the Department of Bioethics at the Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Emanuel is a well-known authority on the ethics of clinical research, end of life care issues, euthanasia and the ethics of managed care.
He has published in the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancent, JAMA, and many other medical journals. His book The Ends of Human Life: Medical Ethics in a Liberal Polity received an honorable mention for the Rosenhaupt Memorial Book Award by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Dr. Emanuel was educated at Amherst College, Oxford University and Harvard University, from which he holds both an MD and PhD in political philosophy. He also served on the ethics section of President Clinton's Health Care Task Force, on the National Bioethics Advisory Committee, and on the bioethics panel of the Pan American Health Organization.
Question: Are you generally optimistic or pessimistic about the way the world is headed?
Ezekiel Emanuel: Both at the same time. I’m optimistic because that’s the only way. I mean you can only get up in the morning if you’re an optimist. We believe we can change the world for the positive. That’s what I think. And on the other hand I am pessimistic. I do think we have enormous problems. And I do think there is a kind of sclerosis in the system for not being able to address the system even when we have solutions at hand! And I just find that phenomenally disappointing.
Recorded: July 5, 2007