Public News Service: COVID-19 Makes End-of-Life Decisions Urgent for Hispanic Communities

An excerpt from the Public News Service article, “COVID-19 Makes End-of-Life Decisions Urgent for Hispanic Communities,” published June 16, 2020: 

“Many of us fail to make known our end-of-life choices before a health crisis occurs, and with COVID-19 upon us, those decisions may be more important than ever. Now a nonprofit has stepped up to help Hispanics navigate their options.

The bilingual campaign initiated by the group Compassion and Choices is encouraging end-of-life conversations. Maria Otero is the group's national constituency manager and said the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the disparities in health outcomes experienced in communities of color.

'We are essential workers,' Otero said. 'We have many, many workers in the restaurant industry or are farm workers, and just because of that we are exposed to the virus.'

Compassion and Choices has assembled a free, bilingual COVID-19 toolkit, which is available online at

Latinos make up 25% of those who have died from COVID-19, even though they're only 18% of the population. Patricia Gonzales-Portillo, national Latino communications and constituency director with Compassion and Choices, said where you live, availability of health care and lifestyle are all factors in the severity of illness in Hispanic communities.

'We can catch this horrible virus that can kill us. Are we going to wait 'til that happens before we have the conversation with our family about what I want in case I die from this illness?' Gonzales-Portillo said...”