Euthanasia: An Introduction

Euthanasia: An Introduction

“Your Euthanasia: An Introduction was excellent! I can’t express to you enough how much this is needed throughout our entire education system.” – Bobby Schindler, Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network

Online Access to AppendicesResourcesReviews


EuthanasiaEuthanasiaCover: An Introduction examines the complex topic of euthanasia by peeling back the layers of rhetoric to let students see what is really at the heart of end-of-life issues. Using Church documents, this supplement provides students with a basic understanding of the Catholic Church’s teachings on euthanasia and gives students the tools they need for defending those teachings against cultural attitudes and pro-euthanasia arguments. Through the use of discussion questions, essays, and small group work, students gain an understanding of the topic and learn how to articulate respect for the dying. The one-class session supplement concludes with a case-study discussion which contrasts Brittany Maynard, Lauren Hill, and Terri Schiavo—three women who suffered terribly at the end of their lives. 

Each supplement comes with an Instructional Guide and a CD-ROM which contains all presentation slides, student handouts, and assignments needed to complete the supplement. Any extra resources, websites, and online content can be found here on this resource page.


9th–12th grade

Life Lens supplements give high school students the opportunity to study culture-of-life topics in a condensed 1–5-class format designed to complement their existing course of study.  Because of their format, Life Lens supplements easily integrate into an existing course, lesson plan, or required class.

Each supplement contains all the teacher presentation materials, discussion questions, quizzes, and student materials needed to complete the class.



Online Access to Appendices

Euthanasia: An Introduction Student Handouts







Click here to access the online content for Euthanasia: An Introduction







Here are some extra tools to help you and your students explore more about the issue of euthanasia:

Resources from American Life League

Why Use the Phrase “From Creation until Death”? —In this article, ALL President Judie Brown explains why American Life League uses the phrase “from creation until death” instead of “from conception to natural death” to protect all human beings.

Pro-Life Language: How Words Build a Culture of Life —In this free lesson, students will examine the phrase “from conception to natural death” and discuss ways we as pro-lifers can use language to help protect all human beings, even humans excluded by that phrase.

Euthanasia Overview —Read an overview of euthanasia by American Life League.

History of Euthanasia— Read this history of euthanasia in the United States highlights major court cases and legislation involving end-of-life issues.

Physician-Assisted Suicide—Read this article by American Life League on the history of physician-assisted suicide and pro/con arguments against assisted suicide.

Ordinary v. Extraordinary Care: Case Studies and Examples—This article examines the difference between ordinary and extraordinary care by posing case studies and questions as to which type of care is involved in the case study. Students struggling with understanding the differences in types of care would find this article helpful to read and discuss in class.


Catholic Church Documents

Catechism of the Catholic Church, USCCB online version—See paragraphs 2276-2279 referring to euthanasia

Evangelium Vitae by Pope John Paul II, 1995 —Evangelium Vitae is a papal encyclical by Saint John Paul II which explains the culture of life and how we should protect it. See paragraphs 15 and 64-66 which deal with euthanasia.

Declaration on Euthanasia” —Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1980

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide ResourcesUSCCB website


Organizations Fighting Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network —a network of support and resources for persons and their families who face imposed euthanasia.

Not Dead Yet —a secular disability rights activism group that opposes all forms of euthanasia among the disabled.

Pro-Life Healthcare Alliance —a board of pro-life physicians and leaders who promote a greater respect for every human being in healthcare.

Life Guardian Foundation —  an organization dedicated to educating others on pro-life issues.



Informed: Life Is Worth Living by Human Life Alliance

This 57 minute documentary features interviews with prominant euthanasia experts like Jo Tolck of HLA, Julie Grimstad of PHA, and Mark Pickup of LifeMatters. To watch individual segments, find the YouTube playlist here.

The Evils of Euthanasia

For teachers: an overview of the dangers of euthanasia by Dr. Paul Byrne

Martin Pistorius Videos and Resources

Martin Pistorius: How My Mind Came Back to Life—And No One Knew  —A TED Talk by Martin Pistorius


Brittany Maynard Videos and Resources

Important note: Please view and share with an understanding of what the videos below represent. Playing to human emotion, all of the videos featuring Brittany Maynard support the “right to die” movement and are intended to garner support for legalizing physician-assisted suicide. We recommend that you watch these videos AFTER you have guided your students through Euthanasia: An Introduction. This will offer you the opportunity to challenge these students, who should now be prepared to refute these and other pro-euthanasia arguments.

The Brittany Maynard Fund —

Brittany Maynard Legislative Testimony —

A New Video for My Friends—


Lauren Hill Videos and Resources

“Girl with Terminal Cancer Living for Basketball” by CBS News

“Facing Death, Lauren Hill Teaches Us Life Lessons” by Paul Daugherty, USA TODAY Sports


Terri Schiavo Resources

Terri’s Story” by Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network

Videos of Terri” by Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network

These videos show Terri as a responsive woman, not in a “persistent vegetative state” like many media sources claimed at the time of her death.

“The Terri Schiavo Case and Death by Dehydration” by American Life League





“Your Euthanasia: An Introduction was excellent! I can’t express to you enough how much this is needed throughout our entire education system. As you indicated, so much of what the other side is teaching/promoting is taking hold and impacting our nation (really worldwide) in a profoundly destructive way.”Bobby Schindler | President, Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network

“This Euthanasia lesson is very well organized and presented. Providing foundational Church documents (i.e., Evangelium Vitae and the Catechism) is a great way to start and equips students with the clearly stated position of the Church. The discussion questions are rigorous, right on point, and challenge the students to understand that deciding when the life of a human [being] begins and ends is God’s purview, not man’s. Well done!!!”Tim Hamer | former principal, Saint Michael the Archangel High School, Fredericksburg, VA

“Your lesson on Euthanasia is very well done! It presents the topic in a clear comprehensible and organized manner; one which illuminates the fallacies present in the pagan voice of our society. This study will fill a critical role in helping the future leadership generations understand the importance of valuing life at all points of its continuum.” –James Hentges | Chair, Pro-Life Healthcare Alliance

“Having had the opportunity to review American Life League’s Culture of Life Studies Program, I encourage everyone who is involved in teaching and shaping our youth – our future! – to avail themselves of this valuable tool.  The program is engaging, thought provoking, and equips both teachers and students with the resources needed to defend and debate this important life issue.  Thank you, American Life League, for once again stepping up to defend life.” – Jo Tolck | Executive Director, Human Life Alliance