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Table 3 The interview

From: Life at the end of life: beliefs about individual life after death and "good death" models - a qualitative study

Free association of the term: "death".
Images of life and images of death.
   (What makes you think of life and death?)
The presence of death in your history: when, on what occasion, did it occur in your life?
   On these occasions what made you feel good and what made you feel bad?
   What positive or negative elements characterized those circumstances?
What do you understand by a good or bad death? (just/unjust – sensible/senseless – dignified/undignified – attractive/ugly)
   What can you do or need to avoid doing in order to die 'well' or 'badly'?
   Can you give real or hypothetical examples?
   What do you think a person who is dying needs?
   What would this person like in the form of a gesture of attention or respect from others?
How would you like to live the last week of your life? (knowing or not, what would you eventually change?)
Three things that you would like to happen to you in the last week of your life.
Three things that you would like to avoid doing or happening to you.
Are life and death two independent events?
Is there anything a person must never do in their life considering the existence of death?
   Is it possible to do something in life which would assure a good death?
Death: an event or a process?
   If it is a process, when does one begin dying?
Can anybody consider him/herself ready for dying?
   If so, when and why?
When does one feel 'ready for dying' (if this is possible)? (How do you think one feels 'inside'? What is the mood? What would be the attitudes towards the life one is leaving and towards what is eventually expected?)
Does someone leave something of him/herself to others when he/she dies?
   What would you like to leave and what would you like to take with you?
Would it be a consolation knowing that the others are still around?
In an important relationship what is more acceptable: the suffering of seeing the other dying; or the suffering of dying knowing that the other is left alone?
In your opinion, what is meant by death "occurring in a natural way"?
Why do people have to die?
   Do you believe in fate?
How would you imagine life to be if there was no death? Would something change?
Do you think there is anything after death?
Does this shape the way you live and the way you die?
Do death rituals have any meaning to you?
What should we do with our corpse? (donation of organs, cremation, burial, etc.)
In case the following points haven't already emerged:
Is the place where one dies important?
Where would you like to die?
Is it important to have someone near you?
Could dependence on others ("being a burden") make death good or bad?
Is it important to be aware of being on the point of dying?
Would you like to be aware of it?
What value and meaning does hope have in facing death?
Is there anything which you think has contributed in shaping your ideas on the themes we have dealt with during the interview?