For Immediate Release


Contact: Barbara Erb
U.S. Living Will Registry
Phone: (908) 654-1441/Fax: (908) 654-1919

Yukon Family Clinic Sees National Registry As A Great Tool To Ensure Patients’ Health Care Wishes Are Fulfilled

Service will ensure a channel of communication is in place
for seriously ill patients

Yukon, OK. (May 7, 2001) - The Yukon Family Clinic, headed by Dr. Stephen Drabek, in cooperation with the U.S. Living Will Registry of Westfield, N.J. is helping patients to deal with the difficult topics of preparing for serious illness and advance care planning. Known as a place where patients are made to feel at home, the clinic staff is looked upon as a caring group of people and it's no surprise that they take an interest in advising patients to prepare advance directives and register them with the U.S. Living Will Registry. This simple step ensures their health care choices will be available wherever and whenever needed.

In fact, the clinic that serves about 4,500 patients in Canadian County has been referring people to the Registry for several years now. Though end-of-life issues are never easy to discuss, patients do inquire about the consequences of serious illness that may leave them incapacitated and unable to communicate their wishes themselves.

"We don't treat people like a number here. We're pleased that people feel comfortable enough and trust us to discuss these difficult topics," said Sharon Martin, Yukon Family Clinic office manager.

By specifying their wishes in the advance directive document, individuals can ensure that their loved ones will never be placed in the agonizing position of having to make decisions about life support and long term care. Doctors, too, are grateful for the documents as they provide a clear direction for the treatment of the patient. An advance directive provides a window into a person's thinking when they were capable of making clear choices about the care they would like to receive in the event of serious illness.

"Yukon Family Clinic is helping local residents prepare for the consequences of a serious illness by providing them with the information about the benefits of advance directives and the services of the U.S. Living Will Registry," said Dr. Joseph Barmakian, founder of the Registry. "Once an advance directive is registered with the U.S. Living Will Registry a person can be assured that their wishes will be known and available wherever and whenever they are needed."

End-of-life issues are never easy to discuss, but as baby boomers approach retirement age, the topic has become the focus of much attention. "You wouldn't want to leave your family with a large financial burden, so why would you avoid taking one easy step to ensure they are not faced with an overwhelming emotional burden," said Barmakian. "It's a great comfort to families, knowing that their loved one's wishes are being fulfilled."

Living will and other advance directive documents are useless if they are not available when needed. Studies show that about 35% of advance directives are not available when they are needed. Registering an advance directive with the U.S. Living Will Registry eliminates that possibility. The Registry stores the documents electronically, and makes them available to health care providers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Any hospital can call the registry at 1-800-LIV-WILL to see if a patient has an advance directive on file. The document is then faxed to the hospital and placed in the medical record. The service is provided free of charge to the public, and is supported by nominal annual fees paid by hospitals in return for unlimited access to the automated system. Because only hospitals have access to the documents, privacy and confidentiality are maintained.

The U.S. Living Will Registry is a free nationwide service that stores advance directives electronically and makes them available 24 hours a day to hospitals and health care providers across the country. For more information about services the U.S. Living Will Registry provides, or to obtain a registration form, please call 1-800-LIV-WILL (1-800-548-9455). Or visit the U.S. Living Will Registry's web site: Registration forms can be downloaded from the web site.




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