A hospital or other health care facility may not interfere with the physician-patient relationship by restricting or forbidding the intravenous use of amygdalin (laetrile) as certified in accordance with section sixteen-a, article five, chapter thirty of this code, as an adjunct to recognized, customary or accepted modes of therapy in the treatment of any malignancy for terminally ill cancer patients when it is prescribed or administered by a physician holding an unlimited license for the practice of medicine in the state of West Virginia and the patient has signed the "written informed request" therefor as set forth in this section: Provided, That a parent or guardian may sign the "written informed request" on a minor's behalf.
In the event that no recognized, customary or accepted mode of therapy is available for the treatment of any malignancy for a terminally ill cancer patient, the physician may prescribe or administer intravenous amygdalin (laetrile), as certified in accordance with section sixteen-a, article five, chapter thirty of this code, as the sole mode of therapy, providing further that said patient executed the "written informed request" as set forth in this section.
Any physician, hospital or other health care facility participating in any act permitted or required by this section is immune from any civil or criminal liability that otherwise might result by reason of such actions. A physician may not be subjected to disciplinary action by the state board of medicine of West Virginia for prescribing or administering intravenous amygdalin (laetrile), in compliance with the provisions of this section.
Nothing in this section shall be construed as constituting an endorsement of amygdalin (laetrile), as certified in accordance with section sixteen-a, article five, chapter thirty of this code, for the treatment of any malignancy, disease, illness or physical condition.
The "written informed request" referred to in this section shall be on a form prepared by and obtained from the state department of health and shall be in substance as follows:
"WRITTEN INFORMED REQUEST" FOR PRESCRIPTION OF
INTRAVENOUS AMYGDALIN (LAETRILE) FOR
Patient's name: ____________________________________________
Age _______________________ Sex ____________________________
Name and address of prescribing physician: ____________________________________________________________
Nature of malignancy diagnosed for medical treatment by amygdalin (laetrile):
My physician has explained to me:
(a) That the manufacture and distribution of amygdalin (laetrile) has not been approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration.
(b) That neither the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association nor the West Virginia State Medical Association recommends use of amygdalin (laetrile) in the treatment of any malignancy, disease, illness or physical condition.
(c) That there are alternative recognized treatments for the malignancy, disease, illness or physical condition from which I suffer which he has offered to provide for me including:
(here describe) (state "none" if applicable) _______________
(d) That I have the right to refuse or terminate the intravenous use of laetrile at any time.
I understand that physicians, hospitals or health care facilities are immune from civil and criminal liability for prescribing or administering amygdalin (laetrile) in compliance with state statutes.
That notwithstanding the foregoing, I hereby requestprescription and use of intravenous amygdalin (laetrile) in the medical treatment of the malignancy from which I suffer.
Patient or person signing for patient
Date of execution of request _______________________________
The prescribing physician shall forward a copy of the written informed request to the state registrar of vital statistics within ten days of the execution of such request and shall retain a copy of the request in the patient's medical file.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session