Advance directives are legal documents outlining patient's general wishes for medical care. These are completed in "advance" of becoming too sick to make decisions for yourself. Advance directives are recommended for everyone age 18 and older (including mature and emancipated minors).
Requests related to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) listed in advance directives cannot be honored by emergency medical service (EMS) providers.
Medical orders (POST and DNR) are legal documents outlining patient's wishes for specific medical care. Medical orders can be honored by all health care providers (including emergency medical service [EMS] providers).
According to WV Health Care Decisions Act, directions provided in advance directives (i.e. the "special directives or limitations" section) take precedence over medical orders in the event that the documents are in conflict with each other.
It is strongly encouraged that all forms are submitted to the WV e-Directive Registry.
The Registry makes patients available to treating health care providers 24/7, so patient's wishes can be honored throughout the continuum of care.
The Registry is accessible by WV EMS providers, so they can search for medical orders regarding CPR or DNR status en route to emergencies.
The Registry acts as the single source of truth by ensuring all documents released by the Registry are completed validly in accordance with WV health care law.