On the last morning of their lives, Charlie and Francie Emerick held hands.The Portland couple, married for 66 years and both terminally ill, died together in their bed on April 20, 2017, after taking lethal doses of medication obtained under the state’s Death With Dignity law.Francie, 88, went first, within 15 minutes, a testament to the state of her badly weakened heart. Charlie, 87, a respected ear, nose and throat physician, died an hour later, ending a long struggle that included prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease diagnosed in 2012.”They had no regrets, no unfinished business,” said Sher Safran, 62, one of the pair’s three grown daughters. “It felt like their time, and it meant so much to know they were together.”In the two decades since Oregon became the first state to legalize medical aid-in-dying, more than 1,300 people have died there after obtaining lethal prescriptions. The Emericks were among 143 people to do so in 2017, and they appear to be the only couple to ever take the drugs together, at the same time, officials said.
Oregon couple’s final days captured in intimate aid-in-dying video