Wielding Thanatos’ Scythe: Exploring the Right to Have a Good and Dignified Death in the Philippine Context

Establishing means in which Filipinos can properly exercise their right to die with dignity in accordance with international law


Legal and Judicial Ethics

Credit Unit





10/20/2025 12:00:00 AM


Death is bound to happen to everyone, it being a real and natural occurrence in life. Yet, its impact varies on peoples with diverse cultural backgrounds that generate distinct yet polarizing views. Some are extremely frightened because of the spiraling disruption it causes. Others just openly embrace it, thinking that they have already fulfilled their life’s purposes.

Despite this, no patient would wish to live long enough to suffer in agony, especially in the presence of their families and loved ones. Those suffering from terminal illnesses continue with their treatments, hoping these would increase their chances of survival. If all else fails, their last hope is to keep their integrity intact in the most humane and dignified way.

With these in mind, it is only fitting to ask whether terminating one own’s life to end his or her suffering is justified.

Alongside the emerging evidence of the right to die with dignity’s legitimacy, its study has largely become relevant. It has become a focal point of discourse in different fields of research, raising complex questions like: why is this topic so controversial? Why has it sowed disagreements among many?

Further, it persists to be a genuine concern, especially to those who suffer hopelessly without any recourse in law. It raises the question: why can some people exercise such right while others cannot?

In the Philippines, the study of the right has become increasingly challenging in the right’s search for a cohesive identity. For one, it could not draw any legal support domestically. Not only are our laws silent as to whether the right exists, but there is also no specific jurisprudence addressing it. More than that, several interest groups and institutions view the right to be inextricably connected with the notion of euthanasia, which practice is deeply frowned upon.

For these reasons, it would be interesting to know if the right to die with dignity could still be upheld in this country. Is there any gap between international law and domestic law? Or is the gap simply existing domestically, in light of certain factors that prove unnoticeable at first blush?

Course Status


Course Price


when you avail the Full Compliance (36 Units) bundle


Regular price for 1 credit unit course



Lawyer and Professor

Atty. Niel is a licensed attorney in the Philippines with a Master of Laws degree in Government, Public Advocacy, and Judging from the University of the Philippines, College of Law and a Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo Law School. He is currently engaged in criminal litigation practice with his father, seasoned practitioner, Atty. Nelson B. Borja.