April 27, 2016

Manchin and Capito Introduce "Jessie's Law" to Save and Protect Recovering Addicts

Jessie’s Law will help ensure physicians and other medical professionals have full knowledge of a patient’s previous opioid addiction when determining appropriate medical care 

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) today 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 and that is why I am introducing Jessie’s Law,” Senator Manchin said. “Her death was 100 percent preventable and she should still be with us today. But with grief comes hope. As we grieve for Jessie and her family, let us pray that we can use this tragedy to help save others. Let us hope that Jessie’s smile and kind heart can touch others in need. Let us celebrate Jessie’s life and all that she meant to her family, her community and her friends. Let us pass Jessie’s Law so her legacy stands long after us.”

“Jessie’s story is truly heartbreaking. As a mother and a grandmother, I cannot imagine the pain the Grubb family has experienced following the loss of their beloved daughter. West Virginia has lost too many daughters, sons, friends and neighbors to the terrible scourge of addiction. That’s why I am joining with Senator Manchin to introduce Jessie’s Law in the hopes that Jessie’s story can help save lives and make a difference as we continue our fight against this drug epidemic,” said Senator Capito. 

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 in March 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.

To read the text of the bill, click here.