Engage with Grace: The One Slide Project

Thursday, May, 12, 2011

Engage with Grace has made it their mission to get everyone to ask the tough questions. Their goal is simple:  “To help ensure that all of us—and the people we care for—can end our lives in the same purposeful way we lived it." Using a framework of 5 questions, Engage with Grace encourage the discussion, and they also wants you to pursue it with yourself and loved ones. The 5 questions are formatted to fit on a slide or sheet of paper.

Only about 50% of the population actually discusses the subject of death and final wishes, and Engaged with Grace does not want you to wait until the very end to make last minute decisions, or have to allow someone else to make them when your wishes are unclear. Instead, Engage with Graces wants you to let everyone close to you know in advance so that they can honor your wishes. During a speech at TedMed, Engage with Grace founder, Alexandra Drane, said that 70% of people have wishes to die at home, but sadly only 30% do. Another sobering fact is that 60% of people have yet to write a will and 25% of people 65 and older have not either. The One Slide Project looks to deal with these problems and help answer questions that have possibly yet to be asked.

  1. On a scale of 1 to 5, where on this continuum do you fall? With 1 being “Let me die without medical intervention” and 5 being “Don’t give up on me no matter what, try any proven and unproven intervention possible.”
  2. If there were a choice, would you prefer to die at home, or in a hospital?
  3. Could a loved one accurately describe how you’d like to be treated in the case of terminal illness?
  4. Is there someone you trust whom you’ve appointed to advocate on your behalf when the time is near?
  5. Have you completed any of the following:  written a living will, appointed a healthcare power of attorney, or completed an advanced directive? 

Each question has a simplistic beauty, but has plenty of room for open discussion. Engage with Grace believes these questions can be answered in two minutes.

Everyone is faced with the hard task of trying to talk about this, whether about ourselves or with a loved one. The website has discussion guides, which allow for more questions depending on the answer given. Question 1’s guide has hypothetical situations for a better grasp on the spectrum. Question 4’s guide gives you information you should share with your advocate.

The testimonies for Engaging with Grace can be extremely endearing. Patricia Reinsfelder wrote in saying, “took it to my mom…discussed the fact that she wanted to die at home…wanted to be assured of pain management… no 'extraordinary measures' taken,” and even “led to other discussions…” Others have taken to Engaging with Grace’s mission, sharing it not only with those who are in dire need of it, but Kristen, a professor in Ohio, shared the “project with [her] students.” All of the testimonies shared on the website show the importance of knowing what our loved ones want, and not only that, what we ourselves want.

For more information please take a look at


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