Rooney sponsors life-saving legislation for people with severe allergies

TRENTON, N.J. – People who save another’s life by administering their own epi-pen would no longer be liable to being sued under legislation introduced by Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney.

Rooney’s bill (A2350) clarifies the Epinephrine Access and Emergency Treatment Act, explicitly allowing a person with an epi-pen obtained by a valid prescription to administer epinephrine to another person suffering from anaphylaxis, a severe life-threatening allergic reaction.

“A shot of epinephrine can be the difference between life and death,” said Rooney (R-Bergen).

“A person with an epi-pen shouldn’t withhold life-saving treatment because they’re afraid of being sued. When an allergy sufferer’s airway begins to constrict from a bee sting or eating the wrong food, time is critical. The law should be clear. A person with a prescription for an epi-pen can use the injector to save a life without consequences.”

Anaphylaxis is common in the U.S., according to a study by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. It occurs to nearly 1-in-50 Americans, although the organization believes the rate may be closer to 1-in-20. The study also found that many patients are not prepared to deal with anaphylaxis.