AZELO Newsletter


November 1, 2023


This Issue's Contents

  • Fall Holidays and their Relevance to AZELO
  • AMA Considers Neutrality on MAID
  • Donate!




Fall Holidays and their Relevance to AZELO

As the fall season descends upon us, let's delve into the intriguing traditions of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos. These two festivals, both centered around honoring the departed, carry their own unique cultural flavors.

Halloween: The Origins and Significance

Halloween, which falls on October 31st, traces its roots back to the Celtic festival of Samhain. In ancient Celtic belief, this was a time when the veil between our world and the spirit realm grew thin, allowing spirits to roam free. To ward off malevolent entities, people donned costumes
and lit bonfires. Over time, Halloween evolved into All Hallow's Eve, celebrated on the night before All Saint's Day.

In the United States, Halloween has become synonymous with costumes, eerie decorations, and the delightful tradition of trick-or-treating. It's a day of imagination and, of course, indulging in an abundance of sweets.

Halloween offers a poignant parallel with our mission at AZELO. Just as Halloween allows us to confront our fears, it serves as a reminder that discussions about end-of-life choices are essential. Just like you choose your Halloween costumes, you should have a say in your end-of-life decisions.

Dia de los Muertos: The Origins and Significance

Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, spans from October 31st to November 2nd and is a Mexican holiday deeply rooted in indigenous Aztec beliefs. It combines these traditions with the influence of Catholicism brought by Spanish conquistadors.

Families create ofrendas (altars) adorned with marigold flowers, sugar skulls, candles, and the favorite foods and beverages of their departed loved ones. This vibrant celebration aims to welcome the spirits of the deceased back to the realm of the living and to honor their lives.

In the spirit of Dia de los Muertos, AZELO encourages Arizonians to contemplate their end-of-life choices. Just as families lovingly create ofrendas to commemorate their ancestors, we should ensure that we have open conversations about our end-of-life wishes and that we have access to a variety of options, including Medical Aid in Dying.

Comparing the Two Holidays:

1. Origins: Halloween finds its roots in Celtic and Christian traditions, focused on protecting against spirits. In contrast, Dia de los Muertos harmonizes indigenous Mexican beliefs with Catholicism, celebrating the lives of the departed.

2. Tone: Halloween embraces a playful, spooky atmosphere with costumes and candy, while Dia de los Muertos bursts with vibrant colors and joy, celebrating the memories of the departed.

3. Duration: Halloween is primarily a one-night affair on October 31st, whereas Dia de los Muertos spans three days, each with its unique purpose—honoring deceased children, deceased adults, and visiting the graves of loved ones.

4. Traditions: Halloween traditions include trick-or-treating and haunted houses, whereas Dia de los Muertos involves the creation of ofrendas, intricate sugar skull art, and parades with participants dressed as calacas (skeletons).

Both Halloween and Dia de los Muertos honor the deceased, yet their origins, tones, and traditions set them apart. The two share a common theme of thinking and talking about death – something that we are all about here at AZELO. So, in the season of these two celebrations I
invite you all to think about and discuss your end-of-life options.



American Medical Association (AMA) Considers Neutrality on Medical Aid in Dying (MAID)

Hello from the AZELO Medical Team!!! The AMA has decided to take up MAID policy position in November of 2023. They last reviewed the topic in 2019. We are hoping they are willing to consider a neutral position to MAID. There are two resolutions concering Maid; Click here to view the agenda of the upcoming meeting and then click on one of the two resolutions to see its text.

Resolution 4 "Reconsideration of Medical Aid in Dying (MAID)"

Resolution 5 "Adopting a Neutral Stance on Medical Aid in Dying"

If you are an AMA member, please consider leaving online testimony here on resolutions 4 and 5! Click here to do so.

If you are a physician but not an AMA member, please consider contacting the state AMA representatives. Click here to send an email to the Arizona AMA respresentatives

If you are a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), you can also contact the AAFP representatives to the AMA. Click here to send an email to the AAFP representatives to the AMA


Click on the blue box above to be taken to our donation form. However, if you would prefer to mail a check, please make it out to "Arizona End of Life Options" and mail it to:

Arizona End of Life Options
2810 W. Briarwood Ter.
Phoenix, AZ 85045

If you are making a donation from a donor advised fund, please contact us directly at m.savan@azendoflifeoptions.org.

EIN 93-2230398

Arizona End of Life Options is recognized as a tax-exempt organization under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, your contribution may be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please consult with your tax advisor to determine the exact tax implications of your donation.

Thank you! 
Your generous gift will be put to good use!  


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