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WHATThe Conversation Project is a public awareness campaign and a guide for individuals to have the talk and to have their end of life care wishes expressed and respected.
WHYTo help people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care, and to allow people to die in a way they choose to when possible.
WHEREThe Conversation Project.
Co-founder Ellen Goodman. Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Across the USA.

Program Description

"It's time to transform our culture so we shift from not talking about dying to talking about it. It's time to share the way we want to live at the end of our lives. And it's time to communicate about the kind of care we want and don't want for ourselves."

"We believe that the place for this to begin is at the kitchen table—not in the intensive care unit—with the people we love, before it's too late."


The Conversation Project believes that the difference between having a good death and a hard death may be in fact whether or not a conversation on end of life care wishes happens before hand. Having the talk can prevent feelings of guilt and uncertainty in addition to decreased depression for individuals and families.

The Conversation Project has put together an online Starter Kit to help families put their thoughts together before having a conversation about death and dying. The focus of the kit is to bring up feeling about what people would want for end-of-life care. The kit aims to bring end of life decision-making power to the individual.

The Conversation Project makes the following suggestions for those who need help with end of life care decisions:

  • Just think about your end of life care wishes before having any conversations.
  • Start by writing a letter to yourself, your family, or a friend.
  • Having a practice conversation about end of life care wishes with a friend.
  • Conversations may reveal that there is disagreement between loved ones with respect to end of life care.

The website also has useful advice on how to break the ice, and how to talk to your doctor talking about death and dying along with peoples personal stories on having their own conversations with their families.

The Conversation Project suggests that once the conversation has taken place it is easier to put it on paper, create an Advance Care Planning documents such as Advance Care Directive, Health Care Proxy, a Living Will and other documents. It may also make it easier to talk to your doctor and continue the conversation with loved ones.

To promote end-of-life care wishes community organizations may use The Conversation Project website to access useful brochures, posters, ads and webinars.

Watch End of Life Care Documentaries
End of Life Care Programs





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