For many years I’ve used the Thanksgiving dinner table conversation as a model for discussions about healthcare – but usually I’ve put it in the context of people who work for healthcare companies, (e.g. pharmaceutical or managed care), trying to address, rebuff and rebut the criticisms they might get from family members, (e.g. Aunt Lilly), about the problems with the US healthcare system and the actions or positions of various companies or industries. However, last year – and again this year – several bloggers have been cooperating to promote Thanksgiving weekend discussions about end of life care issues. This effort has been called the Engage with Grace, and last year it was a great success, with over 100 bloggers participating.
The original mission of this “blog rally” was to get more and more people talking about their end of life wishes. But because this year has had quite intensive public debate about health reform, the decision was made for this year to do something a bit different and add a bit of levity to the efforts to promote discussions.
At the heart of Engage With Grace are five questions designed to get the conversation started, but to put a slightly lighter spin on these questions, the first set below has a less serious tone – the “real” Engage With Grace questions are at the end of this post – and I’ve interjected five other humorous ones in between. They’re not easy questions, but they are important – and the goal of both the serious and lighter questions are to get people talking, since if you can’t talk about the funny questions, then how can families and friends expect to seriously talk about the difficult and important ones?
- Which one of your family members would you trade for a celebrity or professional athlete, and who would you trade them for?
- After you made that trade, would you want the celebrity or professional athlete to cook or do the dishes at your holiday meal?
- Would you want that celebrity or professional athlete to be on your post holiday meal team for Charades or Monopoly?
- Would you want that celebrity or professional athlete to be named on your advanced directive or living will so they could make decisions about your healthcare needs and choices if you were unable to do so?
- Would you want that celebrity or professional athlete to represent you in the US Congress to make decisions about Medicare and health reform?
Have a good holiday season – and go with grace.