WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today welcomed Senate passage of Jessie’s Law, bipartisan legislation she introduced to help ensure medical professionals have full knowledge of a patient’s previous opioid addiction when consent is given. The bill was named in honor of West Virginian Jessie Grubb, who died tragically after a long struggle with drug addiction. Jessie’s Law will help prevent similar deaths by providing physicians and other medical professionals with critical information throughout a patient’s care, enabling them to consider the patient’s history of addiction when determining appropriate treatment.
Following passage of the legislation, Senator Capito issued the following statement:
“The opioid epidemic touches communities across the country, and we have seen more than our fair share of its devastating consequences in West Virginia. Too many of our children have fallen victim to this national crisis, and too many of our families have suffered the pain of losing a loved one to addiction. As a mother and grandmother, I can’t begin to imagine what the Grubb family has endured. Their daughter Jessie’s story is heartbreaking, but it has also inspired action. Jessie’s Law will help prevent other families from having to endure that kind of suffering and loss. It’s a small win in a much bigger battle, but it is an important and meaningful step in the right direction. I am incredibly proud to have championed Jessie’s Law from the beginning, and I will continue working to deliver similar solutions to combat this devastating epidemic.”
BACKGROUND: After battling addiction for seven years, Jessie Grubb was sober and focused 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 his daughter’s 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 is often credited with inspiring him to dedicate more resources to fighting the epidemic.
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