About this Booklet
The Connecticut Coalition to Improve End-of-Life Care was founded in 1998 by health care providers, government agencies, community groups and individuals to develop a comprehensive approach to understanding and supporting the needs of dying persons and their families. The Coalition’s mission was to facilitate the creation of programs to improve care of the dying and to ensure that every individual has information about and access to compassionate, quality end-of-life care.* Grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Connecticut Health Foundation and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving as well as donations funded the Coalition’s early work.
The original edition of this “Beginning the Conversation booklet evolved from the voices of participants in 20 focus groups that were convened to explore attitudes about end-of-life care. Meetings were held in many Connecticut communities with representatives of diverse religious, racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. The groups represented elders and youth, as well as recently bereaved individuals and person with life-threatening illnesses. Transcripts of the focus group discussions were analyzed to identify those issues of most concern to participants. This booklet addresses ten key questions raised during the focus group discussions on end-of-life care. We extend our thanks to all who shared their thoughts and experiences so freely and honestly in these discussion groups. It is our hope that this information will serve as a helpful resource for all Connecticut residents.
This booklet was originally printed in 2003, updated and reprinted in 2009, & updated and formatted for posting on the Coalition’s website in 2014. Whole or parts of the booklet may be linked, quoted and shared without prior permission provided appropriate credit is given to the Coalition.
*The mission was revised in 2014 to read: “to promote compassionate care for all people touched by life-limiting conditions.”