È una questione di vita o di morte.

Is there any significant usage difference between “la questione” and “la domanda” - I rarely see the former.

In my experience, questione is used when it referes to a general issue, and domanda is used when it is a more specific request for information.

So, in this case you could say “It is an issue of life and death”, but you couldn’t say “It is a request for information about life and death”.

Similarly, for a statement such as “Rispondi alla domanda!”, you could replace this with “Answer the request for information!”, but not “Answer the issue!”.

If something is “in question”, in other words “under discussion” or “referred to earlier”, then I have only ever seen this written as in questione.

However, I should add that at times I’ve seen sentences where the distinction may not be so clear.

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Very clear, thanks so much!

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