Is it true that you crap your pants when you die? If so, why? And is there any way to avoid it?
-- Lisa, the net
How pathologically fastidious you are! You will still care enormously about personal hygiene when you're dead. Okay. We'll see what we can do for you. The answer to your question is sometimes yes, sometimes no. When your body finally has had it, lots of chemical and physical things happen. The one we care about is muscle tone. It goes away. As you may recall from your potty-training days, taking a dump is normally muscle controlled. Lose the control, the bowel contents are free to leave, which they will if your colon is full or you die head-up and bottom-down and are subject to gravity. Post-mortem pooping isn't the worst thing about being strung up, but there are endless accounts of how hangmen dealt with this unfortunate side effect of their profession.
How to avoid it? Ummm...don't eat? And, hey, Lisa, you'll pee too! Same reason. Perpetual diapers the answer?