Green agrees with the classification of good and bad death. He further points out that both types of death are accompanied by varied degrees of grief. So what constitutes a good or bad death? According to Green a good death occurs when one is at peace with himself/herself and has accepted the inevitable occurrence. Think of an old person in a nursing home who has lived his/her life to the fullest and has even written a will. Such a person most probably has children and grand children and has achieved success in this world. The death of such a person can be classified as a good death. The death is predictable and is accompanied by less grief and emotion.
Sociologists point out that one of the key characteristics of a “good death” is that it is predictable. There is also a feeling that death in this case will lessen the pain on the dying and those left behind. Terminal illnesses such as Cancer and AIDS present circumstances where it is felt that death would be a better way out rather than the suffering a patient goes through. It is in these circumstances that doctors recommend euthanasia as a way of ending the suffering of the affected person. In some circumstances, even family members have recommended mercy killing for their loved ones. A case in point was witnessed in California where a man asked doctors to switch off a life machine supporting his wife who had lost consciousness after a tragic accident. To those left behind, this was considered a good death since it had put to an end the suffering of the woman and paved the way for those left behind to move on with the business of life.
Young and Cullen (1996) argue that there are some circumstances that result to a bad death both to the affected and those left behind. For instance, the death of a youth in the prime of his/her life is always considered a bad death particularly if it is sudden and unexpected. It takes time for family members to accept the sad situation and the death is accompanied by more emotion and