Miguel Carrasquillo
Miguel Carrasquillo was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor in 2012. YouTube/Compassion&Choices

Miguel Carrasquillo, a young Latino man dying of brain cancer, has joined forces with Compassion & Choices to urge state lawmakers nationwide to pass laws to give terminally ill adults the option of medical aid in dying.

The 35-year-old chef was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor in 2012 and has bravely endured excruciatingly treatments for the last 4 years to try to cure his cancer. Unfortunately, the disease has spread throughout his body and he is now in his final days.

“Going to the hospital back and forward like I do…Every day we have to deal with different symptoms: headaches, back pains, electric shock all over your body, convulsions, seizures,” Carrasquillo says in a video. “I want to die with medication.”

End-of-life options are not available for Miguel in his home state of Illinois or in Puerto Rico, where his parents have been caring for him since the disease stopped him from living his day-to-day life.

“The day of Miguel Carrasquillo is just only in the bath with the help of my mom,” he continues. “I’m not able to do anything. My memory is completely gone. I tell God that I need to go, right now. I want the option to choose how I want to die.”

Currently, only five states authorize medical aid in dying: Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont, and California, where a new law will take effect on June 9.

Miguel’s mother, Nisa Centeno, says the thought of losing her oldest and only son is unimaginable. But seeing him die slowly in unbearable pain is even worse. “I have seen him suffer, I have seen him cry, I’ve seen him fall, collapse,” she says in the video. “This is about the dignity of human beings, and in this case it’s my son. That dignity must be respected until the final moment.”

Compassion & Choices President Barbara Coombs Lee, and attorney who coauthored the Oregon law authorizing medical aid in dying after working as an ER and ICU nurse and physician assistant for 25 years, says, “ Miguel’s tragic experience vividly illustrates the urgent need for end-of-life options in every community in our nation. Painful deaths know no boundaries. They respect no ethnic groups of religions.”

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