Jim Remillard, the Science Department Chair at Saint John Paul II High School in Hyannis, Massachusetts has received second place in the University of Notre Dame Teaching Human Dignity contest. The contest was sponsored by the Notre Dame Office of Life and Human Dignity in the McGrath Institute for Church Life.
Remillard’s unit, “True Dignity in Dying” helps students enter the conversation about physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. Advances in life sustaining technology and medical practice can greatly prolong life. Yet prolonging life is not the same as curing the patient of their underlying pathology. Today’s students almost certainly will be confronted at some point in their lives with end-of-life decisions as our knowledge, technology, and medical practices advance along with escalating costs and limited health resources and facilities. The goal for this unit is to offer young people a solid moral foundation and a clear perspective on how to safeguard the sanctity and dignity of all human life by distinguishing between killing the dying and the licit removal or withholding of life sustaining measures.
The contest judges, all current or former teachers, were especially impressed with Remillard’s unit.
“This unit is a nearly seamless integration of ‘hard’ science and ethical considerations from the Catholic Church with an attention to the heart and faith of the student.”
“The content was comprehensively reinforced at every turn. Far from overwhelming, the lessons naturally built upon one to the next.”
“The unit reflects the instructor’s unique mastery of the content, his desire to effectively communicate Catholic teaching, and his great professionalism. Superb!”
As part of the second place prize, Remillard’s unit on “True Dignity in Dying” will be included in the Office of Life and Human Dignity’s Teaching Human Dignity series.