Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta Partners with End-of-Life Advocacy Group to Launch Statewide Bilingual Education Campaign

‘Si Se Puede’ Champion Urges Fellow Hispanics to Support Medical Aid-in-Dying Bill in Nevada
February 28, 2019

Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta today joined Compassion & Choices to launch a statewide bilingual education campaign promoting legislation to expand end-of-life care options.

The ‘End of Life Options FOR ALL’ campaign, features Dolores Huerta in videos and photos urging fellow Hispanics to join her in support of a bill that would allow terminally ill Nevadans to have the option of medical aid in dying, so they can live their last days in peace without unnecessary suffering. Similar bills are also being considered in New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, states with a large Hispanic population. Click here to view videos for Nevada in English (https://youtu.be/L13MslSHz6Y) and Spanish (https://youtu.be/X9i124gQIYM).  

The campaign comes as legislators in Nevada consider SB 165, a bill that would allow mentally capable, terminally ill adults in Nevada with six months or fewer to live the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take to die peacefully if their suffering becomes intolerable.

Dolores Huerta at her daughters’ home in Los Angeles. Photo by J. Emilio Flores

“I watched my mother, Alicia St. John Chavez, die from breast cancer,” Dolores says in videos. “Lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow terminally ill adults to end unbearable suffering under the care of doctors and surrounded by loved ones. Please urge lawmakers to pass end-of-life options.”

Dolores Huerta is an iconic labor and civil rights leader and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation. She is known for her famous line ‘Si Se Puede’ or ‘Yes We Can’

“We are grateful to Dolores Huerta for standing up for terminally ill Nevadans at the end of their lives when they most need compassionate healthcare options,” said Elizabeth Armijo, regional campaign & outreach manager for Compassion & Choices. “Dying Nevadans don’t have time to wait. They deserve equality and justice during their final days, like the majority of Americans who support this compassionate legislation.”

This week, the Nevada Senate Health & Human Services Committee advanced SB 165, a bipartisan bill that would allow terminally ill Nevada adults to end their life peacefully.  

As part of the campaign, Compassion & Choices recreated the iconic photo, known as ‘Huelga’ shot in September 1965. The image, once exhibited at the Smithsonian, shows a young Dolores holding a sign with the word “Huelga’ or ‘Strike’  during the grape strike and boycott, which led to the field workers’ first contract with California table grape growers. To view photo click HERE.

Seventy-two percent of Nevadans support medical aid in dying. Support increased 75 percent after respondents heard additional information about the bill, according to the poll conducted by Public Policy Polling. Support for the measure is bipartisan and diverse: Hispanic voters (63 percent); Catholics (76 percent); Protestants (65 percent) and voters of all ages and educational levels, all in favor of expanding the rights of the terminally ill.

Hispanics nationwide overwhelmingly support state laws authorizing the option of medical aid in dying for terminally ill adults, so they do not have to suffer needlessly at life’s end. Thanks to support of Latinos like Dolores Huerta, Hollywood actor Mauricio Ochmann, Miguel Carrasquillo, a 35 year old former New York chef who advocated for this option before his death in his native Puerto Rico; and Dan Diaz, the husband of the late medical aid in dying advocate Brittany Maynard, today 69 percent of Latinos nationwide support medical aid in dying.

Brittany was a terminally ill California woman who moved to Oregon in 2014, so she could use its medical aid-in-dying law because California did not have one at the time. Her advocacy inspired California to pass a medical aid in dying law in 2015, Since then, there has been a growing support of national Latino organizations that include the Hispanic Council on Aging, the Latino Commission on AIDs, Hispanic Health Network, Latinos for Healthcare Equity, most recently, Nuestra Salud in New Mexico.

Brittany’s advocacy also inspired Colorado, the District of Columbia and Hawai‘i to pass laws authorizing medical aid in dying since she died on Nov. 1, 2014. Thanks to previously passed laws in Oregon, Washington, and Vermont, and a Montana Supreme Court ruling, nearly one-fifth of the nation’s population has access to this end of life option.

Hispanic support played a key role in enacting the End of Life Option Act in California, which went into effect in 2016. In fact, Dolores showed her support by advocating for the bill when legislators were still uncertain if they would support it.

Compassion & Choices
Media Contacts

Sean Crowley
Media Relations Director
[email protected]

Patricia A. González-Portillo
National Latino Media Director
[email protected]
(323) 819 0310

Compassion & Choices
8156 S Wadsworth Blvd #E-162
Littleton, CO 80128

Mail contributions directly to:
Compassion & Choices Gift Processing Center
PO Box 485
Etna, NH 03750

VICTORY: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed the improved End-of-Life Options Act.

X