West Virginia Medical Power of Attorney Form
A West Virginia medical power of attorney is a form that permits one’s healthcare decisions to be handled by another person (the representative). After signing, the form goes into effect immediately. However, the representative can only speak on behalf of the person completing the form (the principal) if they cannot communicate their wishes. This is a medical state known as being “incapacitated”.
The form can be completed at any time in one’s life. Many residents complete the form to make sure they have someone they trust communicating their healthcare wishes when they can’t themselves should an emergency arise. Alternatively, others often complete the form prior to heading into surgery, hospitalization, a nursing home, or another type of treatment where they may not be able to speak (or speak effectively).
The principal should choose a representative they believe knows themselves well. This person should be trustworthy and dependable, as the decisions they make can potentially be life-changing. To help guide the representative, the document includes a section where the principal can list specific treatment wishes, such as their preferences regarding feeding tubes, CPR, life support, and more.
Laws: §§ 16-30-1 to 16-30-25
Signing requirements (§ 16-30-4): The form (once completed) must be notarized AND signed by two (2) witnesses.