(a) Findings. -- The Legislature hereby finds that:
(1) Although cardiopulmonary resuscitation has saved the lives of persons experiencing sudden, unexpected death, present medical data indicates that cardiopulmonary resuscitation rarely leads to prolonged survival in persons with chronic illnesses in whom death is expected;
(2) In many circumstances, the performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation on persons may cause infliction of unwanted and unnecessary pain and suffering;
(3) All persons have a right to make health care decisions including the right to refuse cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
(4) Persons with incapacity have the right to have health care decisions made for them by surrogate decision-makers;
(5) Existing emergency medical services protocols require their personnel to proceed with cardiopulmonary resuscitation when they find a person in a cardiac or respiratory arrest even if such person has completed a living will or medical power of attorney, indicating that he/she does not wish to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and
(6) The administration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation by emergency medical services personnel to persons who have indicated by a living will or medical power of attorney or other means that they do not wish to receive such resuscitation offends the dignity of the person and conflicts with standards of accepted medical practice.
(b) Purpose. -- It is the purpose of this article to ensure that the right of a person to self-determination relating to cardiopulmonary resuscitation is protected. It is the intent of the Legislature by enacting this article to give direction to emergency medical services personnel and other health care providers in regard to the performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session