Transcript for The Conversation: Opening Up About Death
And finally tonight, so many of you have joined us here as a kind of family to talk about a truly important conversation. Our first report was last fall. We called this estate planning for the heart. All of us together, young and old, telling each other how we want to live right to the end. And you sent us e-mails and photographs, sharing your stories. Tonight abc's bill ritter is back with our conversation together. Reporter: Your responses to our end of life planning story came in waves, wanting us to know, so many families were inspired by the jennings. We're not ready for you to go that soon. My golf swing is still good. Reporter: With laughter they shared end-of-life wished, grandpa norb saying he had a good life. I wouldn't prolong anything. Reporter: But the real surprise was his grandson who had specific wishes should something happen him. If there was no meaningful communication that I would want you to stop trying to intervene. Reporter: Called the conversation and it's turning into a movement. Talking about sex you pregnant and talking about death won't kill you. Reporter: Crowds line up to listen to alexandra drane. She's leading the charge. You only die once. Think about that for a second. Reporter: She said have the conversation when death seems far away. My sister-in-law died at thirty-two. She was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer and she died seven months later. We had no idea what she wanted because we never thought we would need to. Reporter: Young doctors at kent hospital, breaking new ground and bringing the conversation to their healthy patients. Have you ever talked about this to your family? No. I have never talked to anyone about it. Reporter: Doctors now know depression rates plummet in families that have had the conversation. They say you need to have two things. An advanced directive and a health care proxy-which answer legal questions about the type of care you want and who should be making the crucial decisions. It's something of a philosophical u-turn. This is turning away from the science and technology that we can keep people alive forever. Do you ever think, gosh, i wish we had done this years ago? We lost our way a little bit in the science, not thinking about the human nature of medical care. Reporter: The conversation perhaps the perfect gift in this holiday season. There is no greater gift that you can give to people that you love than caring for them in the way that they would want at the end of their lives. Bill ritter here right now. Bill? This really is a gift. Really to the people who survive us. Doctors tell us including our own rich besser, that the holidays are a perfect time, diane, families gather for this to happen. Last night my eldest daughter 21 years old home from college at dinner, I tell her the story is going to be on "world news." She said, dad, it's time for us to have a conversation. And you did? We had it right then and there. You said the things that get started, find the sentence that gets it started. I saw it on "world news" with diane sawyer. We have a whole list of how to get started an abcnews.Com. Look under the conversation. As you say, it's a great thing to do for those who love you and for those you love. Thanks so much, bill. We thank all of you for watching
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