Governor signs medical amnesty bill into law

Updated:

ATLANTA - Gov. Nathan Deal signed a medical amnesty bill Thursday that supporters say will save lives.
 

The bill prevents the prosecution of anyone who gets help for an overdose victim, even if they themselves were using
 
Channel 2's Tony Thomas talked to the mother who helped start the movement for the bill and says her work is not over.
 
For weeks, Robin Cardiges walked the hallways of the state Capitol, pushing for a medical amnesty law.
 
Thursday morning, her dream was realized as Deal signed his name to the bill.
 
“We do it for them, and we do it for every young person,” Cardiges said.
 
Cardiges’ son Steven died of a drug overdose in a car. His friends dumped him in his Gwinnett County front yard instead of taking him to the hospital. They feared they'd be arrested. 
 
Many of the other parents surrounding the governor Thursday had similar stories. The law means anyone who provides help to an overdose victim, as long as they aren’t trafficking in drugs, will not be charged.
 
“Just to make sure nobody else has to feel like this, like all of our moms feel every single day,” said mother Robin Elliot.
 
The law also allows first responders and anyone with a prescription to carry the drug that counteracts an overdose. 
 
Kathy Fletcher says naloxone saved her life twice after she overdosed on her cancer drugs. With only three months to live, she wanted to make sure the drug is available to others.
 
“That's why I had to do this as my last stand,” Fletcher said.
 
This is a stand and a cause that this group says will continue.
 
“Now we educate because we have to let everyone young person in the state know that this law exists,” Cardiges said.
 
Georgia is now the 15th state to approve a medical amnesty law. Nineteen states now allow people to carry the overdose antidote drug with them.