Getting Started

It’s never too soon to discuss with your family and medical provider the care options available to you when facing a serious illness. As with any important decision, an open, frank discussion that isn’t occurring in the midst of a crisis can be helpful. If you have a serious illness, it is important to discuss your hopes and goals in coping with your illness.

Suggested Questions to Start a Conversation With a Loved One

  • What do you value most about your life?
  • If you were diagnosed with a terminal illness, would you want to pursue every possible cure?
  • Do you imagine wanting to stop curative efforts if they were unsuccessful?
  • How do you feel about an extended hospitalization?
  • How much pain is acceptable to you?
  • Do you want to be with your family when you die?
  • What decisions regarding care do you want to entrust to others?
  • What do you hope for most regarding your death or the death of a loved one?

The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. Learn more at:

two women on a couch talking

Not Sure Where to Begin?

We can help.