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The Conversation

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
December 12, 2013 1:36:29 PM PST
So what would you do if you could control how and where you die? 70 percent of us SAY we want to die at home, but the truth is 70 percent of us die in the hospital or a nursing home. How to change that?

The second installment of ABC News' special "The Conversation" project airs tonight on World News with Diane Sawyer. The Conversation involves talking with your family about what you want the end of your life to look like. Do you want to be kept alive by any means necessary? Or not? We've seen what happens when a dignified life ends in a most undignified, keep-him-alive-by-any-means way. One wonders what Nelson Mandela would have thought about the way his last six months unfolded.

And the holidays are the perfect time - with the family gathered - to begin The Conversation. We have links on ABCNews.Com to help you get started. And I hope our story tonight sparks a discussion - if that's what you want - in your own family.

It did with mine. At dinner last night, my eldest daughter, 21-years-old and home from college, after I told her that the story was running tonight, said, "Hey, Dad, what do you want to happen at the end? Shouldn't we have The Conversation." And so we did.

The key is to take advantage of any opening that could start it.

Meanwhile, tonight at 11, we'll have the news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's his AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Diana Williams (in for Sade Baderinwa) and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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