Mar 08 2017
Washington – Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) re-introduced Jessie’s Law, legislation to help ensure that medical professionals have full knowledge of their patient’s previous opioid addiction when consent is given. This will help prevent tragic events like the death of Jessie Grubb by providing physicians and other medical professionals with this information at every step of a patient’s care, enabling them to consider the patient’s addiction when determining appropriate medical care.
“After learning of Jessie’s passing, I promised her father that her death would not be in vain,” Senator Manchin said. “Now a year later after her death, I am re-introducing “Jessie’s Law” to make good on that promise and to do all that I can to prevent parents around our country from experiencing the grief that Jessie’s parents feel. It’s devastating knowing that her death was 100 percent preventable and she should still be with us today. We must ensure physicians and other medical professionals have full knowledge of a patient’s previous opioid addiction when determining appropriate medical care. We will not give up until Jessie’s Law is passed into law so her legacy stands long after us.”
“Jessie’s story is truly heartbreaking,” said Senator Capito. “As a mother and a grandmother, I cannot imagine the pain the Grubb family has experienced following the loss of their beloved daughter. West Virginians have lost too many loved ones to the terrible scourge of addiction. That’s why I am joining again with my Senate colleagues to reintroduce Jessie’s Law in the hopes that Jessie’s story can help save lives and make a difference as we continue fighting the drug epidemic.”
“Over forty percent of people in our country know someone who has suffered from addiction to prescription opioids. It is critical that physicians and other medical professionals are equipped with the information they need about a patient’s medical history before making decisions about their treatment,” Senator Klobuchar said. “Our bipartisan legislation will help prevent tragedies like Jessie’s from happening again and ensure that patients receive the proper care they need in their fight against this deadly epidemic.”
“The opioid crisis is causing harm in communities across the country. One way to help eliminate this scourge is to ensure patient information is readily accessible. That starts with Jessie’s Law, which requires standards to facilitate the sharing of information among physicians and health care professionals regarding their patient’s history of opioid addiction, when consent is given. These standards will help ensure those with a history of abuse aren’t prescribed addictive drugs that may jeopardize their sobriety or lead to overdose,” Senator Feinstein said.
After battling addiction for seven years, Jessie was sober and focusing on making a life for herself in Michigan. She was training to run in a marathon and had to undergo surgery for a running related injury. Her parents, David and Kate Grubb, went to Michigan for her surgery and told her doctors and hospital personnel that she was a recovering addict. However, after Jessie’s surgery, the discharging doctor, who said he didn’t know she was a recovering addict, sent her home with a prescription for 50 oxycodone pills. Before her death, David shared her story with President Obama when he came to Charleston for a town hall on the opioid epidemic. Her story had a deep impact on him and she is often credited with inspiring him to dedicate more resources to fighting this devastating epidemic.