An Oregon man with terminal colon cancer chooses to die with dignity


One night, it was in the middle of the night,
and he had woken up a number of times, and he just turned over to me in the bed and he
said, you know, “Pam, we need to talk.” He said, you know, “Pam, I’ve had wonderful
life with you and Bonnie. I look at myself in the mirror and I see someone
from Auschwitz.” I want to explore Death with Dignity. And I said, “Ok, honey. I’ll help you.” And that began the process. So our friends brought the medicine to us. I put it in the refrigerator. And we had a wonderful lunch with them. And then Ben let them know that two days later
he was going to take it. We had list of his friends that he wanted
to say goodbye to. And we invited them over here on that Friday. It was 6:30. He was going to take the medication at 7. He was on oxygen then. So he went in the room to take in more oxygen. And then each couple went in there. There were six couples. Each couple went in individually. And they have told me that they’ve been changed
for the rest of their lives because of this experience. It cannot but change everybody’s life because
you’re having a chance to participate, watching another human being have their choice. And he was ready. He was ready. And so he took the medication. And he laid down. And I held his hands. When I was first with Ben, he would lay in
bed and he’d be doing like this all the time. His hands went like this and they never moved. They never moved. We’re all going to die, we all want to go
out on our quote, “own terms”. And that was the confirmation of his own terms. And his last words to me was, “Thank you.” That’s the other confirmation. Thank you. That was his last words.

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