To recognize Day of the Dead, on November 1 Compassion & Choices will honor the memory of deceased aid-in-dying supporters with a celebration in New York City including a candle lighting, procession and dance.
“These brave advocates spent their last months of life advocating for laws to authorize medical aid in dying despite the horrors of their terminal diseases,” said Corinne Carey, New York state director for Compassion & Choices. “As we celebrate and embrace death as a part of the human experience in a colorful and festive celebration, we commit to make medical aid in dying an additional end-of-life option for terminally ill adults in New York.”
New York’s Medical Aid in Dying Act made history in May when the Assembly Health Committee passed shortly after its introduction. The bill will be reintroduced in the upcoming legislative session that starts in January.
Participating in the celebration will be Nilsa Centeno whose only son, Miguel Carrasquillo, a former New Yorker, recorded a bilingual video for Compassion & Choices urging lawmakers nationwide to give terminally ill adults the option of medical aid in dying. Miguel, 35, died of painful brain cancer June 5 in his native Puerto Rico. He was only 35 years old.
José Garza will also speak about his wife, Nohemí, a devout Christian who suffered horribly from cancer at the end of her life in 2004. “She no longer had to endure catheters and needles poking through her frail body,” said Garza, former executive director of the East Harlem Business Capital Corporation. Several New York state lawmakers are also slated to attend.
The event was organized by Compassion & Choices National Latino Communications Manager Patricia A. González-Portillo, who recently won the Hispanic Public Relations Association 2016 ¡Bravo! Awards for “Non-Profit Campaign of the Year” and “Public Education Campaign of the Year” for her role in the Latino media outreach campaign that helped pass California’s historic End of Life Option Act. It will take place from 11 a.m. to noon at El Museo Del Barrio, 1230 5th Ave. at 104th St., New York, NY 10029.