Death and Dying
2:58 pm
Sat October 6, 2012

Conversation Project Facilitates Conversations About End-of-Life Choices

For the past two weeks, we've been running a series on issues related to death and dying. These are topics we as a society generally don't like to talk about, but as Lake Effect producer Stephanie Lecci found out, conversations about end-of-life care have a big impact on the stress that people and their caregivers face as they approach death. Figuring out what kind of end-of-life care you want and communicating those wishes, however, are difficult conversations to have with loved ones and doctors.

How do you talk about what kind of care you want at the end of your life?

So today we offer a bonus segment to our death and dying in the 21st century series - about a new campaign that's trying to make it a little easier. And after all, what's more 21st century than an interactive website and social media blitz?

The Conversation Project was started in 2010, by journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Ellen Goodman. In talking with colleagues, medical professionals, clergy, media and others, she found an alarming trend that was backed up by statistics: more than half of people have not communicated their end of life wishes. So she and a team began the Project to provide resources to the public to facilitate these conversations - and help change the stigma of talking about death. Goodman joined Stephanie Lecci by phone and told her more about the mission behind the Conversation Project.