The Conversation Project Newsletter

Welcoming Reverend Liz Walker to The Conversation Project 

We are proud to announce the addition of Reverend Liz Walker to The Conversation Project Advisory Board. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Liz Walker is an award-winning television journalist, a documentary film producer, an entrepreneur, and a humanitarian working in Boston and around the globe. She is the co-founder of My Sister's Keeper, a women-led humanitarian action group working with struggling communities in Sudan.

  
The Conversation Project looks forward to gaining Liz's insight and perspective as we continue our mission to have every person's end-of-life wishes expressed and respected.

A Conversation with Ellen Goodman, Part II

Blogger Tara Sophia Mohr sat down with Ellen Goodman to discuss social change and The Conversation Project.

 

"We founded The Conversation Project on the basis of storytelling. We want to make it easier for everybody going through this from now on, because we know that if there is one thing that everybody in this wide diverse and sometimes contentious world shares, it's their mortality. That is something that all of us will go through with the people we love and then ultimately with ourselves.

 

"We said, 'Yes this change has to come from the outside in. It comes from known experiences that you are the expert on you. You are the expert on your family. You know what happened to your parents, to your siblings and that you have to bring this change into the system.'"

 

Read the whole conversation here.

Cost of Dying: Discovering a better way for final days 

The Oakland Tribune featured The Conversation Project last week in this compelling article on end-of-life care.

  

"Ultimately, the cure is acknowledging that pointless suffering, not death, is the foe. Our medical resources are squandered "when death is not seen as a natural part of life, but rather something that can be prevented or at least postponed as long as possible."

 

"But our conversation has shown us how we can change: better informed decisions. Wiser use of technology. More judicious spending. Greater sensitivity. Less desperation. These lessons could cure the conflict between "do everything" medicine and our desires for a peaceful passing, making it affordable enough, and humane enough, to ease the painfully high cost of dying."

 

Read the full story here.

Share Your Story
Everyone has a story. About losing someone close. About what it was like to have the conversation. About not talking about wishes until it was too late.

 

No matter what your story, we invite you to share it on the new interactive "Your Story" feature on The Conversation Project's website. After all, your story could help someone else facing a similar situation.

  

My Husband - Physician and Dying Patient

Submitted by Stephanie

 

My husband, a physician and internist, felt a little "ping"; soon we had to tell our four children that their dad had metastatic pancreatic cancer, and promptly we had to do everything we could to make sure his wishes for the end of his young life would be honored. In many ways t became a battle to ensure the most fundamental of these wishes: that he be treated only to the extent that was reasonable, and that he come home to be with me and our children-that he not die in a hospital even though he required significant, 24-hour-a-day care. With a diagnosis of metastatic pancreatic cancer and a mean survival of six months, not a single one of dozens of health care professionals brought up hospice care with us. No one but my husband and I seemed to want to talk about his end-of-life care.

 

Read the rest of the story here.

 

 

 
January 8, 2013
Have you had the conversation?

It's not easy to talk about how you want the end of your life to be. But it's one of the most important conversations you can have with your loved ones.

 

Our free Starter Kit can help you get your thoughts together.

 

Download your kit here.

TCP Book Club:
"Handbook for Mortals"

This month, The Conversation Project features Joanne Lynn's book, Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness, as our reading suggestion.

 

The book aims to provide comfort and information to people facing serious illness near the end of life, and recently was awarded the 2012 Book Award for a Consumer Publication by the American Medical Writers Association.

 

Check out the rest of our suggestions on Pinterest.

Upcoming Event:
Join Martha Hayward in Boston
Join The Conversation Project's Martha Hayward in discussing how to talk about end-of-life issues with family and friends this month.
 
This community event will be held at 6:30pm on January 14th at the Connolly Branch Library in Jamaica Plain, Boston.
 
Learn more here.
New Year's Resolution: Give the Gift of Conversation

TCP Advisor Lachlan Forrow invites you to give the Gift of Conversation on his Boston.com blog, "Mortal Matters" - and it's not too late!

 

Make your New Year's resolution, and give the Gift to your loved ones today.  

Consider the Conversation: A Documentary

Check out "Consider the Conversation," a new website that promotes person-centered care. The organization uses a series of films to inspire necessary cultural change in the United States. The documentaries focus on the patient perspective to inspire dialogues between patients and doctors, and families.

 

Watch the trailer here.

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