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Conversation Project Facilitates Conversations About End-of-Life Choices

The Conversation Project

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.

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.