56% have not communicated their end-of-life wishes with anyone.
To address these facts, former Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Ellen Goodman has created The Conversation Project, which launched today with a goal that is both simple and transformative: to have every person’s end-of-life wishes expressed and respected. Although so many people have a clear understanding of what they want their end-of-life experience to look like, too many do not die in a way they would choose. The Conversation Project hopes to change that with a grassroots public campaign to encourage open and honest discussions among families and friends at the kitchen table now rather than in an intensive care unit at the end-of-life.
The Conversation Project does not promote any specific preferences for end-of-life care or support any political initiatives or legislative measures. It just wants to break down the barriers around a difficult subject and make it easier for all Americans to start talking with their loved ones about what they want.
The Conversation Project’s cornerstone is its interactive website, which provides guidance, tools, and resources to help get “the conversation” started. It also invites people to share their personal stories so that visitors can learn from the experiences of others. The website’s Conversation Start Kit provides facts and astute guidance for having conversations about end-of-life care. It even offers word-for-word ways for you to begin a conversation about end-of-life care.
ABC News has joined The Conversation Project as its exclusive digital media partner, ensuring that the campaign reaches a broad and diverse national audience. In addition, The Conversation Project will be featured on an ABC World News Tonight broadcast next week, with the possibility of an hour-long television special in the fall.
As you explore The Conversation Project’s website, take the first simple step on the first page. Submit your answer to the prompt “I want mine to be…”
Have you had The Conversation with your loved ones? What was your experience?