What makes a good death?

SN&R asks its readers for views on a taboo subject

SN&R needs your help with an upcoming issue exploring end-of-life issues. Please email us answers to the following questions at <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">{ document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,97,32,104,114,101,102,61,34,109,97,105,108,116,111,58,116,97,98,111,111,115,117,98,106,101,99,116,64,110,101,119,115,114,101,118,105,101,119,46,99,111,109,34,62,116,97,98,111,111,115,117,98,106,101,99,116,64,110,101,119,115,114,101,118,105,101,119,46,99,111,109,60,47,97,62)) } </script> by end of day on May 24. You can choose to answer some or all of the questions; please include your name, age, profession and contact information.

1. Where would you like to be when you die?

2. Have you ever been close to the death of a family member or friend where the actual process of dying was peaceful and comforting?

3. Have you ever been close to the death of a family member or friend where the process of dying was distressing or unsettling?

4. If you were given a fatal diagnosis from your doctor, would the quantity or the quality of days you had left be most important? How would you express your feelings about this to your family or doctor?

5. Do you want to make the decisions about your end-of-life health care (whether to take more tests, do another round of treatment, agree to hospice, etc.), or would you prefer your doctor or loved ones take charge?

6. Some believe that, in the current health-care system in America, medical professionals can tend to focus on the disease instead of the person with that disease. Do you agree or disagree and why, especially when it comes to those who are dying?

7. What would be most important to you if you found that you had a month left to live?

8. Do you think we shield ourselves from death? Do we shield our kids from death?

9. What do you think will happen when you die?