February 14, 2018

Manchin Urges House to Pass "Jessie's Law," to Save and Protect Those Recovering from Addiction

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is urging the House of Representatives to take up and pass Jessie’s Law, his legislation to help ensure that medical professionals have full knowledge of their patient’s previous opioid addiction if the patient gives consent. 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 when the patient provides that information. Jessie’s Law passed the Senate by unanimous consent in August, but has yet to see action in the House of Representatives.

Jessie’s Law is bipartisan, commonsense legislation that will ensure physicians and other medical professionals have full knowledge of a patient’s previous substance use disorder when determining appropriate medical care,” Senator Manchin said. “The Senate passed Jessie’s Law unanimously in August but the House of Representatives hasn’t taken any action on it. This legislation honors the life of Jessie, someone who was lost too soon to something that was 100 percent preventable. This legislation will save lives. I am calling on the House to pass this legislation as soon as possible so that we can prevent parents around our country from experiencing the grief that Jessie’s parents feel. I will not give up until Jessie’s Law is passed into law so her legacy stands long after us.”

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 has had a deep impact on Senator Manchin and his efforts to fight the opioid epidemic.