Ezekiel Emanuel, the "deadly doctor" who advised the Obama administration on health policy in its campaign to pass Obamacare, is back in the news today after penning an op-ed in the New York Times suggesting that the government should regulate the number of tablets in a bottle of Tylenol.
Emanuel writes on "a simple way" to reduce suicide rates:
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.
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. 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...
Second, it sounds like Emanuel went to the Bloomberg School of correcting societal behaviors. No problem is too big or too small for government intervention, apparently.