Evidently not enough reading has been done. I’ve read the articles (both referred to here) and this is total BS. I urge people to read the good doctor’s articles themselves.
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is a great an compassionate man. His Lancet article (which is a great read BTW) is about how one should allocate care in terrible situations when you cannot save everyone. The quote about dementia in the other article, crucially misses the whole point by ignoring the next few lines in the actual article. When he’s talking about “basic” care he’s referring to specific list of things which should be guaranteed to a normal patient capable of benefiting from them, such as say an Autistic child being guarantied educational therapy which would not benefit an someone suffering from dementia. In the later case another system would need to be in place to address effectively the needs of such an individual.