The Posthumous Dignity of Dead Persons

Antoon de Baets*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


    In this chapter, the author explains the community of the 100 billion dead and builds a theory on how to approach them best. He provides evidence for posthumous dignity and identifies its constituent elements. The author shows that the posthumous dignity of the dead is the reason why the living have duties of respect and protection toward the dead. He operationalizes these two duties into more specific ones. A dead body is not an ordinary object, neither from a medical nor from a legal perspective. It is impossible to prove conclusively the existence of posthumous dignity as a dimension of the dead. Specific groups act or are entitled to act as representatives of the dead and to perform duties of protection. Posthumous dignity is not a right . The dead do not have rights and therefore no right to either posthumous dignity or posthumous respect.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAnthropology of Violent Death
    Subtitle of host publicationTheoretical Foundations for Forensic Humanitarian Action
    EditorsRoberto Parra, Douglas Ubelaker
    Place of PublicationHoboken NJ
    Number of pages23
    ISBN (Electronic)9781119806394
    ISBN (Print)9781119806363
    Publication statusPublished - 10-Feb-2023


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