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Compassion & Choices holding 11 a.m. press conference in NYC and Dia de lose Muertos procession.

NYS Lawmakers, Supporters to Hold Ceremony Honoring Day of the Dead

Candle lighting, procession & dance recognizes deceased New Yorkers who suffered at life’s end

WHAT: Compassion & Choices will hold a news conference and Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) procession, dance and candle lighting ceremony on Tues., Nov. 1, to honor the memory of late advocates for medical aid-in-dying legislation: New York residents Miguel Carrasquillo, Nohemí Garza, Youssef Cohen, William Stubing and Jay Kallio. These laws give mentally capable, terminally ill adults with a prognosis of six months or less to live the option to request a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take to die peacefully if their suffering becomes unbearable.

Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated on the first and second days of November. It is a time when families celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed by honoring them with beautiful gifts, colorful altars and visits to their graves. The holiday is a time to embrace death as a part of the human experience in a vibrant and festive celebration.

WHY: In 2016, legislators in the District of Columbia and 19 states have introduced aid-in-dying bills: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin. That represents a three-fold increase compared to aid-in-dying bill introductions in 2014 in only seven states: Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. While many legislatures have ended their session for this year, the District of Columbia Council, New Jersey and New York legislatures still are considering medical aid-in-dying bills. In addition, there is a citizen-led referendum to authorize medical aid in dying in Colorado.

WHO: Nilsa Centeno, mother of Miguel Carrasquillo, a 35-year-old former New York chef who advocated for medical aid-in-dying laws as he was dying in agony from terminal brain cancer in 2016
José Garza, former executive director of the East Harlem Business Capital Corporation whose wife of 40 years, Nohemi, suffered horribly before her death to cancer in 2004
Lindsay Wright, wife of former NYU professor Youssef Cohen, who moved to Oregon to die peacefully in 2016
Reverend Luis Barrios, Pastor, Grace Church
Assemblymember Robert J. Rodriguez, 68th District
Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz, 51st District
Corinne Carey, New York Campaign Director, Compassion & Choices
Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Nueva York

WHEN: Tues., Nov. 1, 11 a.m. – Noon ET

WHERE: El Museo Del Barrio, 1230 5th Ave. at 104th St., New York, NY 10029

CONTACT: Patricia A. González-Portillo at 323-819-0310,

Compassion & Choices is the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit
organization working to improve care and expand choice for the end of life.