Graduation is coming close, and life after high school is much more interesting. Having a high school diploma is a ticket into the world. Mr. Dyment, the KLA Dean of Students and Math teacher, said, “I wasn’t stuck.”
So what is there to do after high school? Well, there are things like training programs, and there is going to college, and of course the job workforce.
There are different programs to apply for training. At AVTEC (Alaska Vocational Technical Center) there are programs like Culinary Arts, Maritime, Applied Technology, Energy and Building, Technology and Information, and the Technology Department.
With these trainings, it depends on which job you are going to take and what kind of skills you have. For example, if you like cooking, you might think about Culinary Arts. If you like computers and are good at hacking the network, you might think about going into Technology. Like some jobs you have to communicate with others.
Did you know there are about 165 open jobs in Bethel at YKHC? YKHC is our local health corporation. There are so many to choose from like being a: Psychiatric Technician, a Medical Technologist, Certified Nurse Assistant, and much more. YKHC has many job openings for people who are looking for jobs in Bethel, or in your home village.
If you are thinking of attending college, there are many colleges in Alaska and in the Lower 48. Here are some colleges you can attend, or apply to. There is UAA (University of Alaska Anchorage), UAS (University of Alaska Southeast), APU (Alaska Pacific University), and KUC (Kuskokwim Campus) located in Bethel.
You can apply to these colleges online or you can call to apply and they will send out an application for you to sign. An important thing to do is to finish school, and to learn as much as you can because that information can be useful, and you may never know that you have used it.
Dustin White, KLA
Support for HB54
In life, death at some point is inevitable. While most accept that, many wonder, “Will it be comfortable?” When I was young I would say, “I hope I die in my sleep.” But later as an adult, I found that I no longer needed to settle for simply hoping that I die comfortably. In 1991, the Patient Self-Determination Act established for individuals the opportunity to at least make legal, mitigating plans that will improve our own odds that we won’t die a prolonged, painful, and very expensive death, one that would traumatize us and those who care about us.
In consultation with my children, all adults, I modeled taking responsibility for one’s life (and that includes death) and created my Advanced Directives 16 years ago. Five years later, on my request, my doctor helped me obtain my Certificate of Comfort One Status, the do-not-resuscitate order for emergency or medical personnel. My local hospital has copies of the documents on file. I wear a bracelet. Basic information is always with me. And the best part is my children know what is coming, they know the plan, and they know what to do. We are prepared.
Now I am covered legally in instances of sudden, life-threatening accidents, violence, or physical failures. But I still do not possess the last piece of personal control I need to ensure my access to careful, professional medical assistance in ending my life in the event of a diagnosis of terminal illness. HB 54 is the missing piece I need to complete my personal plan to increase my likelihood of experiencing a comfortable, orderly, dignified death.
I whole-heartedly thank Rep. Drummond for bringing forward this compassionate bill for personal rights and responsibility. I encourage readers to consider the benefit of such preparations and contact their representatives and ask them to support and pass HB54.
Find Alaska’s Advance Directives (Living Will) form at: http://tinyurl.com/y9fg46po
For more information and forms for Comfort One visit: http://tinyurl.com/mtkmp24
For information about HB54 visit: http://tinyurl.com/ycob22sk
Alaska Family Action says no to HB54
Alaska Family Action sent the following letter this morning to each member of the Alaska State House Judiciary Committee opposing a bill to legalize assisted suicide in our state. We remain firmly committed to protecting innocent life in Alaska from the moment of conception to life’s natural ending.
Dear House Judiciary Committee Member,
We are writing to express our opposition to CS for Sponsor Substitute for House Bill 54(HSS): “An act providing an end-of-life option for terminally ill individuals; and providing for an effective date.”
HB 54 would authorize physicians to intentionally prescribe a lethal dose of drugs for the purpose of helping facilitate a person’s decision to take his or her own life.
Alaska Family Action opposes the practice of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) for the following reasons:
1. Legalization of physician-assisted suicide jeopardizes the vulnerable. Similar to PAS laws in other states, HB 54 contains no mandatory requirement that individuals seeking to end their own lives be referred for a psychiatric consultation.
Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, a psychiatrist and Director of the Medical Ethics Program at the University of California Irvine School of Medicine, has described how the legalization of assisted suicide can exploit vulnerable people:
“Many Americans already lack necessary access to mental health services, and [legalizing assisted suicide] places these and other vulnerable individuals at risk. The desire to end one’s life, or the request for assisted suicide, is nearly always a cry for help. It is a distress signal, a kind of ‘canary in the coal mine,’ indicating that something in the patient’s situation (medical, psychological, or social) is not adequately being attended to – an untreated clinical depression, fear or anxiety about the future or about one’s medical condition, untreated or undertreated pain, family or relationship strain or conflict, and so on. Well-replicated research demonstrates that 80 – 90% of suicides are associated with clinical depression or other treatable mental disorders, including for individuals at the end-of-life and individuals with a terminal condition…. Yet alarmingly, according to the Oregon Health Department’s annual report, only 5% of the individuals who have died by assisted suicide under Oregon’s law were referred for psychiatric evaluation – and this number is decreasing every year. Considering what we know about suicide risk factors, this constitutes medical negligence.” (Letter from Aaron Kheriaty, M.D. to Andrew Gurman, M.D., President of the American Medical Association, November 9, 2015. Emphasis in original)
2. Physician-assisted suicide corrupts the practice of medicine. Physicians have taken the Hippocratic Oath for many centuries. It states in part: “I will keep [the sick] from harm and injustice. I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.”
Bills such as HB 54 tend to blur a very important ethical distinction: patients and their health care providers are not obligated to preserve or extend life at any cost, but a decision to forego treatment is not the same as purposefully ingesting a massive dose of lethal drugs that is designed to kill.
Ryan Anderson, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, writes:
“Human life need not be extended by every medical means possible, but a person should never be intentionally killed. Doctors may help their patients to die a dignified death from natural causes, but they should not kill their patients or help them to kill themselves. This is the reality that such euphemisms as ‘death with dignity’ and ‘aid in dying’ seek to conceal.” (“Always Care, Never Kill: How Physician-Assisted Suicide Endangers the Weak, Corrupts Medicine, Compromises the Family, and Violates Human Dignity and Equality,” by Ryan Anderson, March 24, 2015, available at www.heritage.org)
3. Physician-assisted suicide will lead to worse violations of human dignity. Advocates of physician-assisted suicide argue in soothing language that there is no “slippery slope” whereby PAS will eventually lead to voluntary euthanasia, and then to involuntary euthanasia. Unfortunately, ideas have consequences – whether we choose to face them honestly or not. The consequential “idea” that is inherent in laws allowing physician-assisted suicide is that some lives are not worth living.
The logic of the “right to die” movement is inexorable: if those deemed to be “terminally ill” have a personal autonomy right to receive lethal drugs to take their lives, then why not the chronically ill? Why not the profoundly disabled? The experience of assisted suicide and euthanasia in Europe shows that these ethical landmines are real, not imaginary.
In 2012, twin brothers Marc and Eddy Verbessem were euthanized in Belgium, at their own request, when they discovered they had a condition that would eventually cause them to be blind. The brothers decided they would rather be killed than live their lives without vision. In 2013, Nancy Verhelst was euthanized in Belgium. She requested euthanasia based on “unbearable psychological suffering” resulting from a “sex change” operation that had yielded unsatisfactory results.
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, noted oncologist and bioethicist, acknowledged the reality of the “slippery slope” dynamic in an article for The Atlantic:
“The Netherlands studies fail to demonstrate that permitting physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia will not lead to the nonvoluntary euthanasia of children, the demented, the mentally ill, the old, and others. Indeed, the persistence of abuse and the violation of safeguards, despite publicity and condemnation, suggest that the feared consequences of legalization are exactly its inherent consequences.” (“Whose Right to Die?,” Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, The Atlantic, March 1997; emphasis added)
HB 54 proposes a dangerous public policy for Alaska, and it diverts attention away from real solutions – such as promoting better palliative and hospice care – that can yield real benefits for enhancing the dignity of vulnerable people at the end of life. We respectfully urge you to oppose this legislation.
Standing for Families, In His name!
Jim Minnery, President
Alaska Family Action