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Every Life Matters

The international movement to legalize assisted suicide teaches that some lives are worth living while others have no value. As Christians, we embrace interdependence and understand that suffering is a necessary, if difficult, part of life. When we help others in need, we are practicing works of mercy. When we ask for help and allow others to care for us, we are providing the opportunity for others to offer mercy to us.

Grades PK-3

PK, TK and Kindergarten Lesson Plan

Students will explore the concepts of illness and dying through the lens of the dignity of every person at every stage. Through stories and activities, students will realize that the elderly and the sick have love to give and need to receive love.

Grades PK-K Wednesday Every Life Matters Lesson Plan.pdf

Grades 1-3 Lesson Plan

Students will explore the concepts of illness and dying through the lens of the dignity of every person at every stage. Through stories and activities, students will realize that the elderly and the sick have love to give and need to receive love.

Grades 1-3 Wednesday Every Life Matters Lesson Plan.pdf

Resources

Jesus Heals the Paralytic

3 minute animated video of
the great miracle of Jesus’ healing of Levi. Illustrates not only the love Jesus has for the poor and sick but the great generosity of Levi’s friends to bring him to the Lord for healing.

Patch Adams

3.5 minute clip from the classic Robin Williams movie during which he entertains a pediatric oncology ward with hilarious antics. Why is it important to make people laugh even when they are sick?

A Week at Grandma’s Part 1

6 minute animated video of Berenstain Bears’ book. When mother and father go on vacation, the kids spend time with their grandmother.

A Week at Grandma’sPart 2

Second 6 minute half of story here.

Grades 4-6

Grades 4-6 Lesson Plan

Students will explore the concepts of illness and dying through the lens of the dignity of every person at every stage. Through stories and activities, students will realize that the elderly and the sick have love to give and need to receive love.

Grades 4-6 Wednesday Every Life Matters Lesson Plan.pdf

Resources

Patch Adams

3.5 minute clip from the classic Robin Williams movie during which he entertains a pediatric oncology ward with hilarious antics. Why is it important to make people laugh even when they are sick?

It’s You I Like

Mr. Rogers introduces his neighbors to a boy named Jeff who needs an electric wheelchair to get around.

Grades 7-9

Grades 7-9 Lesson Plan

The international movement to legalize assisted suicide teaches that some lives are worth living while others have no value. Students will learn about interdependence and what life-affirming options are available for people at the end of life that are in keeping with human dignity.

Grades 7-9 Wednesday Every Life Matters Lesson Plan.pdf

Resources

Man of Steel

5 minute video of JJ, a former Marine fighting brain cancer, whose desire to live for his family, even through his disease, is a great inspiration. JJ Hanson is from the Archdiocese of New York, where his wife and children still live.

Grades 10-12

Grades 10-12 Student Handout

The international movement to legalize assisted suicide teaches that some lives are worth living while others have no value. Students will learn about interdependence and what life-affirming options are available for people at the end of life that are in keeping with human dignity.

10-12 Handout – End of Life

Questions for Discussion

• How is being a burden part of the human condition? What happens if someone tried to live completely independently?

• What is the responsibility of individuals toward the sick or dying? What is the responsibility of a community?

• What groups of people would be most negatively affected by legalized assisted suicide? Why?

• What is the value of palliative care? Does this sound like an option in keeping with human dignity?

• Does a person’s desire for personal autonomy at the time of death matter more than other considerations? What about the conscience of the doctor, nurse or pharmacist who might have to assist? What about the community who recognizes suicide contagion and the possibility that others (teens especially) might choose suicide because it is legal for the dying?

Resources

Death with Dignity

3 minute video from Chris Stefanick of a woman fighting cancer while raising her four young children. She looks to the end of her life as designed by God without wishing to control her own death.

Pulling Back the Curtain on Assisted Suicide

3 minute video sharing the economic and social effects of assisted suicide on a community.

Stephanie’s Story

5 minute video of Stephanie Packer, an Orange County woman fighting a terminal disease with her husband and four young children. Stephanie chooses to live, even when difficult, for the sake of her children, rather than opt for assisted suicide.

Jeanette’s Story

3 minute video of a woman who, 15 years after beating cancer, is so glad that she chose to live and did not take advantage of assisted suicide.

Man of Steel

5 minute video about J.J., a former Marine fighting brain cancer, whose desire to live for his family, even through his disease, is a great inspiration.

The Scooter

5 minute video about Bill, who suffered from paralyzing depression while fighting his end-stage disease. Bill sought drugs for assisted suicide, but then his doctor realized that all he needed was increased mobility. A scooter was all it took to change Bill from looking to die to loving life.

Luke’s Story

3 minute video. Luke, 19 years old, who survived a suicide attempt, explains that every suicide is tragic.

Physician Assisted Suicide: The Real Effects

1 min video. Dr. Brian Callister explains how legalizing physician assisted suicide has dangerous consequences, like the unwillingness of insurance companies to pay for life-saving procedures and treatments.

Sarah’s Story

2 min video. Sarah shares the story of her grandmother, who was pressured to receive assisted suicide despite the lack of a terminal disease.

Hope in the Face of Suicide

7.5 min video. Fr. Mike Schmitz explains how important it is that we treat all life as sacred, even when people feel that life is not worth living.

The Meaning of Suffering

6 min video. Fr. Mike Schmitz gives us a counter-cultural perspective on suffering and finding meaning in Christ.

Assisted Suicide is Not About Autonomy. It’s a Tragedy we Shouldn’t Allow

USA Today article claims assisted suicide devalues life.

Addressing the American Suicide Contagion

Article explores the link between suicide, overdose and assisted suicide.

We’re Told We Are a Burden. No Wonder Disabled People Fear Assisted Suicide

Guardian article claims there are no safeguards to prevent people being pressured into ending their lives.

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