INTRODUCTION TO YOUR WEST VIRGINIA ADVANCE DIRECTIVES
This packet contains a West Virginia Combined Medical Power of Attorney and Living Will, which protects your right to refuse medical treatment you do not want or to request treatment you do want in the event you lose the ability to make decisions yourself. You may complete Part I, Part II, or both, depending on your advance- planning needs. You must complete Part III.
Part I, Medical Power of Attorney, lets you name an adult, called a “representative,” to make decisions about your health care—including decisions about life-prolonging intervention—if you can no longer speak for yourself. This is especially useful because it appoints someone to speak for you any time you are unable to make your own medical decisions, not only at the end of life.
Part I goes into effect when your doctor determines and records in your medical record that you are unable because of physical or mental impairment to appreciate the nature and implications of a health care decision, to make an informed choice regarding the alternatives presented and to communicate that choice in an unambiguous manner.
Part II, Living Will, lets you state your wishes about health care in the event you cannot speak for yourself and you develop a terminal condition or you are in a persistent vegetative state.
Part II goes into effect when your doctor determines that you are no longer capable of making or communicating your health care decisions and documents in your record that you are in a terminal condition or a persistent vegetative state.
Part III contains the signature and witnessing provisions so that your document will be effective.
Following your advance directive form is a West Virginia Organ Donation Form
This form does not expressly address mental illness. If you would like to make advance care plans regarding mental illness, you should talk to your physician and an attorney about an advance directive tailored to your needs.
Note: This document will be legally binding only if the person completing it is a competent adult (at least 18 years old).