Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta – Urges People to Plan for the Health Care They Want

by April 15, 2021

Videos released in honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day

Dolores Clara Fernández (age 91)

Portland, OR – Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta has partnered with  Compassion & Choices to record videos in English and Spanish in honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16. The annual initiative was established in 2008 as a day to provide clear, concise, and consistent information on healthcare decision-making to both the public and healthcare providers.

In the videos, Huerta encourages individuals to have a conversation with their loved ones about healthcare priorities and values and put their plans in writing in the form of an advanced healthcare directive and power of attorney or health care proxy.  The videos may be viewed here in English and here in Spanish.

“(This is an opportunity to) determine what kind of care we want, whether we want life-extending measures depending on our condition, and who will speak for us in case we get a life-threatening illness and cannot communicate our wishes for end of life care,” Huerta says in the video. “This is a great opportunity for us to reach out to our loved ones and start having those difficult but necessary conversations about advanced care planning.”

Sixty-nine percent of Americans say that talking about their wishes and values for end-of-life care is important to them, but only 56 percent have discussed the subject with their loved ones, according to a new nationwide study by Vitas Healthcare. Tragically, one in five Americans said they had a family member who was seriously ill or died during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they did not  know their wishes or values for end-of-life care.  Additionally,  a nationwide survey released by the University of Michigan reveals the majority of Americans do not have a durable power of attorney and/or an advanced directive completed.

Compassion & Choices’ End-of-Life Decisions Guide Toolkit, available in English and Spanish includes documents that will help you think through your priorities for end-of-life care, complete an advance directive and other forms needed to choose a representative to speak for you if you cannot, and consider common end-of-life medical interventions so you can specify what you want or don’t want — right up to the end. And it will guide you in having valuable conversations with your healthcare providers and loved ones.

Compassion & Choices is the nation’s oldest, largest and most active nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and expanding healthcare options for the end of life. More information is available at:

Dolores Clara Fernández Huerta (born April 10, 1930) is an American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Cesar Chavez, is a co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, which later merged with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to become the United Farm Workers (UFW). Huerta helped organize the Delano grape strike in 1965 in California and was the lead negotiator in the workers’ contract that was created after the strike.

Huerta has received numerous awards for her community service and advocacy for workers’, immigrants’, and women’s rights, including the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American Award, the United States Presidential Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was the first Latina inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, in 1993.

Huerta is the originator of the phrase, “Sí, se puede“. As a role model to many in the Latino community, Huerta is the subject of many corridos (Mexican or Mexican-American ballads) and murals.

In California, April 10 is Dolores Huerta Day.

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