The Last Chapter
October 24, 2019
While his story started in a small Missouri town, Charlie Roome spent his years teaching across the Midwest, raising a family of his own, and traveling around the globe. Charlie saw a lot of this world before settling in Washington state. When he finally sought help for the pain in his back and doctors discovered his spinal cancer Charlie’s adventuring was cut short.
As the radiation treatments began, Charlie’s pain soon became unbearable. He knew continuing treatment wasn’t the right choice for him, so he started looking for other options. That’s when he found End of Life Washington and connected with one of their volunteers, Betty, who helped him understand all his end-of-life options, including Death with Dignity.
“I think [Death with Dignity] is a right that I have and should have. It’s an option that all of us should have. It’s an option that should be explained, explained carefully by someone who is as skilled as Betty…It’s very important this information be made more widely available…it’s not something that people talk about enough.”
With the support of his family, caregivers, and members of his community, Charlie knew that he wanted to have control over his last chapter in life. He strongly believes that the option of Death with Dignity is a right everyone should have. And Charlie hopes that by sharing his story, more people will learn about the end-of-life options they have available.
“I think everyone should have the right to control their own destiny…it’s not a privilege, it’s a right.”
The Last Chapter: Profiles
Linda spent her father's last day fighting through her emotions and doing everything she could to support his choice to control his last chapter. Now, she works to make Death with Dignity more accessible to all who need it.
Dr. Bliss is passionate about normalizing the end-of-life conversation. Now, she leads by example—making end-of-life planning part of her routine care—and hopes more physicians begin talking to patients about their options.