Archive for Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Personal beliefs affecting some prescriptions

Pharmacists’ dilemma

July 13, 2005


Imagine going to the local pharmacy, presenting a prescription for birth control or morning-after pills (called Plan B) and having the pharmacist refuse to dispense the medication, saying it would violate his or her conscience.

This situation is increasingly occurring to women at drugstores around the nation, as some pharmacists decline to fill prescriptions for drugs whose effects go against their own personal, moral or religious beliefs on reproductive issues.

As a result, some states have passed "conscience clauses" that protect a pharmacist's right to refuse to dispense these prescriptions, while other states are mulling legislation that would compel them to do so.

Kansas pharmacy experts say they're not aware of any conflicts between patients and pharmacists that have yet arisen in the state, but add there's no reason to believe this will remain the case indefinitely.

"I suspect we're probably going to see more of these challenges. It's going to vary from state to state, but it's only a matter of time before it will happen (here)," said Ken Audus, dean of Kansas University's School of Pharmacy.

Barbara Wood, a clinical assistant professor in the pharmacy practice department of KU's School of Pharmacy, has examined this issue with students in her pharmacy law and ethics class.

"The bottom line that I try to impress on them is that the allegiance that they owe - the covenant that they take on - is to their patient. The health and the well being of their patient comes first," she said.

"And consequently, they have to have some good justification of behaving like they do, regardless of what stand they take."

No laws in place

There hasn't been a major debate on the conscience clause issue in Kansas since the issue hit the national news earlier this year, according to John Kiefhaber, executive director of the Kansas Pharmacists Assn., based in Topeka.

Some pharmacists around the U.S. are refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control or emergency contraception, also known as "Plan B," saying it violates their personal, moral or religious beliefs. Two brands of contraceptive pills are pictured here at Round Corner Drug Co., 801 Mass. Pharmacist Tom Wilcox is pictured in the background.

Some pharmacists around the U.S. are refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control or emergency contraception, also known as "Plan B," saying it violates their personal, moral or religious beliefs. Two brands of contraceptive pills are pictured here at Round Corner Drug Co., 801 Mass. Pharmacist Tom Wilcox is pictured in the background.

But the association's members have discussed the issue, and in 2004 the American Pharmacists Assn., based in Washington, D.C., promoted a policy of "step away, and transfer" for the field.

"In essence, Kansas pharmacists believe that their first responsibility is to the health of the patient, and that if they cannot in good conscience dispense a particular prescription drug, they should step away from the order and be sure that the prescription is transferred to another pharmacist," Kiefhaber said.

"In practice, pharmacists have to follow the policy of their employer as well, and it is recommended that, if they are not the owner of the pharmacy, that they work out the transfer arrangement in advance with that employer."

There is currently no statute in Kansas that would legally protect pharmacists who refuse to fill certain prescriptions due to personal beliefs, nor is there any law on the books that would compel them to do so, said Mike Farmer, executive director of the Merriam-based Kansas Catholic Conference.

But some Kansas health care professionals, such as doctors and nurses, can legally refuse to directly participate in an abortion without fear of punishment, he added.

The conference supports a pharmacist's right of refusal to dispense certain drugs, and would support the passage of a conscience clause in Kansas.

"We would be with the pharmacists if they had a conscientious objection to filling a prescription that they believe could cause harm to either the patient or the patient's child," Farmer said.

Complex issue

Others take exception to the idea of pharmacists being able to choose which medications to dispense, according to their own beliefs.

"I think it's a fundamental violation of medical ethics and of the rights of women. It's an interference in the relationship between a woman and her doctor," said Peter Brownlie, president and CEO of Overland Park-based Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.

"Our position is that if pharmacists cannot overcome their personal biases to provide patient care, they should find another line of work."

He said he expects to see increasing efforts by pro-life advocates to pass legislation that would give legal protection to pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control or morning-after pills.

"It's a complex issue. I have personal feelings about it, and they've even changed over time," said Gene Hotchkiss, associate dean of KU's School of Pharmacy.

"A pharmacist should be altruistic and put the needs of others in front of his own. And we try to inculcate to our students that they be nonjudgmental when they practice."

He said the school advises its graduates that if they have issues of conscience that might preclude them from dispensing a medication, they should advise any employers about this upfront.

Follow own moral compass

Round Corner Drug Co., 801 Mass., stocks birth control and morning-after pills, and owner Tom Wilcox said he had no problem filling prescriptions for them.

He said he believes the majority of pharmacists probably feel the same way he does - that one's personal beliefs shouldn't be injected into pharmacy practice.

At the same time, Wilcox said he doesn't believe that one or two pharmacists in Lawrence potentially refusing to fill birth control prescriptions would pose a major problem.

"There are 20 or so pharmacies in town, if you add it all up. I just can't imagine people not being able to get these things filled (at one of them)."

He offered a piece of advice to KU pharmacy students entering his field.

"I would think their obligation is to take care of the patient, but everyone has to follow their own moral compass and be willing to take the consequences."


Richard Heckler 12 years, 5 months ago

Pharmacies should state their positions on a sign where it can obviously seen in order that customers can make a choice as to whether or not they want to do business at a particular establishment.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 5 months ago

The irony of "medical ethics" is that we live in a society that has inconsistent laws regarding the health of the unborn. If a pharmacist or doctor failed to provide products or services to keep an unborn child alive, they'd be prosecuted. If a pharmacist or doctor refuses to provide services or products to assist in aborting a child, they can find themselves being castigated, again, but in a different way.

If I kill my next door neighbor's unborn child, I'll do hard time. If she makes the decision to kill her unborn child, she's protected by the courts. There is an inconsistency of values in our society. An unborn child is precious... unless it's mother wishes it dead, in which case, apparently, it's "nothing".

Regardless of what side of the debate a person is on, it should be clear to all that our present laws reveal a moral inconsistency, and such a glaring inconsistency should make us pause and ask if we are really sure we are correct in our thinking. It reminds me of American slavery in the 19th century. Slavery was justified by some by saying that Africans were not fully human, only "2/3" human, and therefore they could be bought and sold like livestock. But, the same slave owners who declared blacks to be "livestock" also insisted that slaves not be allowed to cohabitate unless they were married. Some also demanded that their slaves learn scripture and convert to Christianity. They couldn't see how ridiculous it was to call them un-human, but then to impose upon them moral standards that do not apply to soulless animals.

Our stand on the unborn is exactly the same. One set of unchangeable beliefs state that a child inside it's mother is a person (Scott Peterson was convicted of killing both his wife and his unborn child... his OWN child); yet at the same time a child can be killed by, and only by, it's OWN mother before it's born, which clearly implies that abortion is nothing but the removal of a mass of tissue from a woman, not the killing of a person.

The motivation for the lies that preserved slavery for so long were simple: selfishness. Wealthy southerners maintained their standard of living through slavery. Not having slaves would mean killing the golden goose. Our permissiveness regarding abortion is the same: we kill the unborn because we are selfish. We use the rare cases of incest and rape as justification for what is mostly just a lot of women and their uncommitted, frightened boyfriends lining up for abortions so that the responsibility of parenting doesn't interfere with their selfish goals. Our rationalization of this murder is due to "self".

Some will write posts that try to contradict what I've written here. If you do so, I kindly ask that you do not dodge the issue of inconsistent morals. In your rebuttals, please address the problem of how our society can both protect AND kill the unborn. I suspect that none of you will be able to do so without leaving rational logic behind.

lunacydetector 12 years, 5 months ago

this is a straight First Amendment religious liberty issue.

i am surprised that a KU professor would recommend in essense, that a pharmacist should not recognize their religious liberty.

for_LIFE 12 years, 5 months ago

It seems to me that this article completely disregards the harmful consequences that result from taking such prescriptions as Plan B and the others like it. Wouldn't a pharmacist now these things and want to protect their patient anyway...moral compass or not? Just a thought.

goshawk 12 years, 5 months ago

The whole tone of this would different if it were pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for Viagra and Cialis.

If a pharmacist wants to impose his or her religious beliefs upon me in the course of doing their job, then they should get a different job, since obviously they cannot fulfill the duties of the current position.

absolutelyridiculous 12 years, 5 months ago

Do NOT forget that we have freedom of Religion in addition to freedom of speech. The pharmacist with a conscience has allegience to God first. The pharmacist with a conscience probably is also aware that the pill is NOT in the best health interest of the patient...not only does the pill have an abortive effect, it also increases the chances of breast and ovarian cancer. Don't crucify a few good pharmacist because they know and see the truth folks. And please don't rationalize your own moral blindness with "living" in the modern world. What ever happened to personal responsiblity, respect and self-control? Oh yeah...we lost that in the 60's!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 5 months ago


If I wanted to open a convenience store, but didn't want to sell tobacco, would that be OK? Most of those stores sell cigarettes, and it seems like there is a significant demand for them. Would I be failing to do my "job" because I, as a business owner, refuse to sell tobacco? Would my failure to stock those products imply that I've infringed on your right to be a smoker?

If I own a pharmacy, I can choose how to run my own business (in a non-Fascist society, that is). Not stocking those drugs is that pharmacist's choice to make. How is that an imposition of religious beliefs on you? If they don't stock what you want to buy, go to another pharmacy! Have you ever been told by your doctor to go to a specific pharmacy because that pharmacy was the only one in town that stocked a specific drug or product? That's happened to me many times. I didn't freak out over it, because whether or not my pharmacist did or didn't carry my psoriasis cream wasn't a politically charged issue.

Your statement was poorly written, not because you lack articulation, but because it came from a place deep within you where you keep your political fervor. Your statement was not "thought through" very well because you are blinded by ideology, and that ideology kicked the crap out of your logic.

Mari Aubuchon 12 years, 5 months ago

Old Enuf: It was those who want to make abortion illegal who pushed for the laws to which you refer. I suspect they did so in order to make arguments like yours.

Absolutely: There is no evidence of increased risk of cancer from the modern pill, quite the opposite in the case of the ovaries. Yes, there is an increased risk of stroke in smokers over 35, but this possible effect is in no different than those of the majority of drugs. Tylenol can cause deafness, ibuprofen can cause digestive hemorrhage, antibiotics can lead to anaphalactic shock. Decisions as to the benefits and risks are not a matter for pharmacists, but for the FDA, doctors, and the patients themselves.

Pharmacists do have first amendment rights and if their beliefs conflict with their job they have the right to change occupations. That is all ANY workers possess in this country. Do you have the right to cuss a blue streak at work? Can you even complain about your boss via e-mail? Can you try to convert co-workers and customers on company time? Can you light seven-day candles in your cubicle? Can you stop the bus you drive to pull out a prayer rug when Mecca calls?

We live in a country of random drug tests, smokers getting fired, and the investigation and dismissal of bloggers. Why should pharmacists have more rights than the rest of us?

psychrn 12 years, 5 months ago

This is complex, and goes far beyond "women's issues." As a medical professional, I do have an option of participating in certain procedures, or not. Pharmacists should have the same option, providing the patient has access to an alternate location for receiving legally prescribed medication. My concern is where does the right to not participate stop. If a pharmacist believes that overweight people should exercise more instead of taking medication for high cholesterol or high blood pressure, can they refuse to fill the prescription based on their beliefs?

hammysammy 12 years, 5 months ago

I've said it before and I'll say it again...what some people obviously think is right for some others is no sex before marriage, therefore why should you even need birth control pills, but on the off chance that you do, well now you have a baby, because abortion is a no-no, and Plan B is too. So what we're left with is either adoption, or in lots of cases, babies born into homes that are unprepared or nonexistent. And since Bush has cut so much funds for social services, this is only one of many areas affected by this, including the lack of mental health issue, anyway, so now we have all these babies. Now what I want to know is why all the religious people who feel that these lives are precious, which they are, once they are here, why don't you all become foster parents? I think that is what Jesus would want for you to do. I saw a show a couple weeks ago about grandmothers raising up to 6 or 7 of their grandchildren while their parents are smoking crack, yeah, if people didn't have access to birth control are all you pro-lifers going to take responsibility for these kids? Its bad enough already, and you know who suffers? Not you, not me, not the parents, its the kids.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 5 months ago


I do not have the right to do some of those things you mentioned when I'm on the job. That is exactly why I am looking forward to being self-employed some day: so I can do what I want.

If a pharmacist owns their own shop, they can do what they want. If they work for, say, Walgreen's, then there will be corporate policies that dictate behavior at work just as I have to follow certain policies at the finance company where I work. And, if I don't like my company's code of ethics, I can both buck the system and be terminated, or I can just quit. Psychrn says they work someplace where they are given a choice regarding whether or not to participate in activities that violate their personal ethics. That's a nice luxury.

[NOTE TO ALL SO-CALLED LIBERALS: true liberality is the ability to make one's own choices, not just to make choices on the "left" of a subject. Psychrn is describing a situation where they are able to make either the liberal choice OR the conservative choice, which is a RARE example of actual, true, real liberality!]

Is that really what this is about: whether or not I have the right to dictate the terms of my employment to my employer? That's not what I was writing about at all. The question is: assuming I own my own business, or that I'm someone with absolute authority to make company policy, is it WRONG or UNETHICAL for me to create my own policies against assisting someone in killing an unborn child (or a fetus or fertilized egg:)?

Nothing I wrote was intended to say that pharmacists should have more rights than the rest of us. They should have the SAME rights, which, if they own their own business, would include the right to not stock products that they don't want to stock (just like the convenience store that doesn't sell tobacco). In that situation, a pharmacist shouldn't have to listen to people call them "unethical" just because they follow their conscience.

Ragingbear 12 years, 5 months ago

First of all, if all professionals started picking and choosing what they would do based on personal beliefs would result in a wide array of issues. What if a doctor refused to treat a pregnant teen because he/she didn't believe that teens should get pregnant? What if a police officer refused to take a report on rape because they believed that women were to be used as objects? What if people at the DMV decided not to issue a licence to a black person, or a woman because they believed neither should be allowed to drive? Where would it end?

Pharmacist have an obligation, just like any other profession to fulfill thier duty regardless of thier personal beliefs and issues. Teens will have sex with or without the proper birth/std prevention. Not to mention that birth control pills are a common treatment for conditions other than controlling birth. There is a painful condition that affects many women in America, and indeed the world called endometriosis. The common prescription for it is birth control pills, as it stops the monthly cycle, and provides the needed relief. The morning after pill is commonly given to victims of rape and molestation to prevent pregnancies that would inflict severe psychological distress and damage to the mothers, and be passed on to the child.

Keep it professional. That is what it means. And if the professionals are no longer professional about thier professionalism, then we are taking a gigantic step backwards to the days of back alley abortions, and home remedies to accomplish what should be available in a more safe, controlled, and regulated environment.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 5 months ago


Look around: there are many Christians (and others) who are involved in foster care and adoption. I'm getting close to considering adoption myself. But not all of us are prepared to take 10-20 kids into our homes in order to resolve society's failure to take responsibility for it's actions.

I'm a BIG fan of abstinence. I think our society is in denial about the costs of sexual liberality. I'm a fan of abstinence, in part, because I'm a big fan of personal responsibility. We have unwanted pregnancies because people are stupid. Yes, I said it, and I meant it: stupid. Ask any kid who's a year away from puberty and that kid can tell you where babies come from. We know so many ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but we just keep having recreational sex anyway, without precautions. Sure, some unwanted pregnancies are due to broken condoms or rape or someone forgetting to take their birth control, but those are not the main causes of unwanted/unwed pregnancies. I've been close to a number of unwanted pregnancies. They were all just due to stupidity, because someone was sexing when they should have been thinking.

Folks: sex is about babies. If you are not ready for parenting, you are not ready for sex, even if you are 35 years old. You say sex is "fun"? So is PlayStation 2. Go buy one of those. They cost less than a child does, and even less than an abortion.

Telling people who are being responsible for their own kids that they now need to start raising all the kids of so many irresponsible people is not the answer. We just need to stop getting pregnant when we are not ready to start families. Fathers: love your daughters so that they aren't so starved for love that they jump into bed with the first boy who has a cool skateboard. Young men: if you get her pregnant, take responsibility. This is a fact: unwed pregnancies are down today from 1970, but more unwed mothers are living on welfare. Why? Because 35 years ago, if you got pregnant, you got married and started a family. It may not have been fun, but at least you weren't killing your unborn kids or leaving your responsibilities to other people. We will solve these problems through moral fiber, not with more social programs and permissive thinking on sex.

christie 12 years, 5 months ago

I bet if it were men who were being denied a service we'd be hearing a completely different tune. These religious Taliban-Like Zealots are one day going to deny men the right to buy condoms.

Remember, this pill simply prevents pregnancy that may or may not take place. When a woman takes one of these pills nobody knows if an egg has been fertilized at all.

And what if they start passing judgement on other issues. Let's say they are treating a sexually transmitted disease. Now they can say they don't want to dispense medicine because someone doesn't meet their morality bar.

I say all of these Pharmacists should pack their bags and move to Afghanistan where they can practice their Taliban-Driven Moralities.

christie 12 years, 5 months ago

Oldenuf: If you own a pharmacy say in a small town and don't stock tobacco then I have no issue with that. If you own a pharmacy and don't stock a particular drug then I have no problem with that either. I know of several pharmacies that don't stock tobacco. Kudos. Even as a smoker I champion their right and wish more would do the same.

But to stock, and not dispense, in a corporate environment, due to ones personal beliefs, has no place in this society.

12 years, 5 months ago

"I bet if it were men who were being denied a service we'd be hearing a completely different tune."

I'd bet not. Any convenience store that chooses not to carry "Men's Magazines" (e.g. Hustler) is doing precisely the same thing: voluntarily refusing to engage in commerce. No one can make the argument that women are the targets here. Individuals who own stores have the same rights to engage or not engage in commerce as do all other individuals.

"Fathers: love your daughters so that they aren't so starved for love that they jump into bed with the first boy who has a cool skateboard."

Best advice I've heard all day. Maybe all year.

12 years, 5 months ago

What does a corporate environment have to do with anything? The issue is freedom, not business structure. If a corporation has issues with individuals violating corporate policy, that's an employment issue, not a legal one.

But it's interesting how this has become such an issue when the article admits that there is not a single verified case anywhere in Kansas.

Seems to me it's more about "taliban" than it is about health care.

49cent 12 years, 5 months ago

On the subject of birth control, I noticed that the condoms at the Dillons on 23rd Street are in a locked case, could that be because someone objects to their use? Or are they just being stolen?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 5 months ago

RagingBear, you stepped into the same incomplete logic that Mari used.

A cop cannot choose to not help a rape victim in the way you described it. There are policies in place that a cop has to follow. They are not self employed (do you see how owning or managing one's own business changes the argument?). The police, the DMV: these are apples compared to my oranges.

You asked if a doctor should be allowed to deny treatment to a pregnant teen. That would be in violation of the oath that doctor took because there is a direct medical need for that teen to have someone treat her. How many people HAVE to have a morning-after pill in order to be physically healthy? And furthermore, if someone needs to stay "un-pregnant" in order to be healthy, is an abortion pill really how we should handle the social issue of unwanted pregnancy? We always hear the argument about the rape victim, but let's be honest about this: the morning after pill will find it's true market with young women who wake up on Sunday morning with a hang-over in a strange bed next to a man who looked much better last night at the Phoggy Dog. If only she could remember his name, and where she parked her car:

You showed your hand in your last paragraph. You, like so many others, seem to want to keep Roe v. Wade alive so badly that you'll resort to illogical arguments to help you make your point. If Roe v. Wade was "good", it will survive on it's own merits without so many weak arguments about how it's unprofessional for a pharmacy owner to refuse to violate their conscience. It's within their rights to follow their consciences.

12 years, 5 months ago

"Now what I want to know is why all the religious people who feel that these lives are precious, which they are, once they are here, why don't you all become foster parents?"

It's a good question. I am a foster parent and have adopted one child already and should find out this week if we get a second. Our preference is a bi-racial set of kids, so if they come available, we'll take them as fast as we can, within the legal guidelines of how many we can have in our home at once (the total is 6). Yes, more Christians should take on the burden. "Whatever you do for the smallest of these, you do it for me". Those are the Christian's marching orders.

But that's a separate issue. Relying on people to pick up the pieces is no solution to people breaking things in the first place.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 5 months ago

That's what I'm saying L.B. You got it right: we need to fix the root causes and core issues instead of always looking for quick fixes and slogans that mean nothing.

In this case, the quick fix being discussed is the queen of all quick fixes: a simple pill. Can't stop molesting children? Chemical castration. Can't control your behavior? Anti-depressants. Can't deal with life? Drink till you can see straight. Failed to think about the consequences of your sexual choices? A pill to kill the child inside you.

No, let's not really fix ourselves. Let's just keep heaping on band-aids and keep telling ourselves that we are dealing with our problems... when we really aren't.

Steve Jacob 12 years, 5 months ago

If you can't get someting from your pharmacy, go somewhere else. And don't go there again. Money talks.

opinionated 12 years, 5 months ago

I personnally have to take birth control pills due to a medical condition. It is called Endometryosis. I have also tried many other treatments such as surgery, shots that eliminate all hormones, and finally birth control. This is my last resort which is medically neccassary if I ever want to have children, not a choice just because I want to have "recreational sex." And yes I would be upset if my pharmacist told me he wouldn't sell me my birth control pills, because it was against his moral issues. My birth control pills are not prescribed to prevent pregnancy. They are prescribed so that I will be able to have a baby in the future. If my pharmacist told me no I won't sell to you, then I would think that he/she was interferring with my health and not making a moral decision, based on the fact that they don't believe in sex before marriage or birth control. That has absolutely nothing to do with my case.

Also I would like to know how many of these pharmacists that are refusing to sell birth control pills and the morning after pills because they are against birth control methods also sell condoms. If they sell condoms but won't sell birth control then they are contradicting themselves.

BDub 12 years, 5 months ago

I think medical decisions about what's good for someone is between the patient and their doctor. The doctor prescribes medication because it's best for the patient. The person filling the bottle of pills shouldn't have any say in the matter. They're not responsible for the decision, they're just filling a bottle. If that's too much, then get another job.

I have to agree with OldEnuf that if they OWN the pharmacy, I think they have a right to only stock the medications they want to stock. But the guy at my local Walgreens should fill whatever prescription I bring in, regardless of whether he thinks I need it. I can see exceptions where there is enough pharmacy staff on hand to handle these situations (i.e., have some other staff member dispense it). Otherwise, tough luck. We all have to do things we don't like sometimes and in this case the rights of the patient to their prescribed medication outweigh the rights of the pharmacist.

Celeste Plitz 12 years, 5 months ago

If the pharmacist in question owns the pharmacy, then by all means go by what his/her moral obligations are and don't stock birth control pills, condoms, men's magazines etc etc. That's their choice, and their right. However, at a corporate type pharmacy, where the pharmacist works and does not own the pharmacy, then they should go by what the corporation policies are-and right now the policies are to fill prescriptions that are brought in by the patient, filled out by their doctor. It does not matter if the prescription is for birth control pills or if it's for some other drug. They should fill it, regardless of their personal feelings in the matter. If they don't like it, then they should go work for the pharmacy that does not stock those things they are against. That is their right. My personal feelings, well, I believe that prescriptions are between the patient and the doctor, and that nobody should force their personal religious beliefs in between that partnership. But I believe in a person's religious right as well(as long as that person's beliefs are not forced on me or impinge on my personal rights)so I believe the above solution should suit most anyone. shrug we have the freedom to choose what pharmacy we go to, we can always ask our doctors which ones will provide the medication we need, and avoid those that will not.

jmadison 12 years, 5 months ago

These pharmacists' stand is similar to Conscientious objectors. If an individuals moral code precludes his dispensing an agent that he has determined of his own free will to be a violation of his moral code, then he should not be compelled to dispense such agent.

pylon25 12 years, 5 months ago

I think its absolutly absurd that they can be allowed to force their own personal beliefs upon others. I think that a pharmacist should have a professional obligation to dispense whatever medication a doctor has prescribed. I would like to think that as an individual i could go to any pharmacy and acquire pretty much any medication i needed. What might this lead to next? What if a EMT decided that they didnt want to help save a particular individual because the color of their skin was inconsistent with their personal beliefs? What if the injured person was in a profession with which the EMT didnt agree? Do they have the right to deny that person medical care? No. Neither does a licensed pharmacist. I think that any pharmacist who refuses any prescription should have their license suspened the first time, and revoked the next. Again, i think it should be reasonable to assume that you can go into any pharmacy, where a state licensed pharmacist works, and get any prescription you need. Screw your religious beliefs, god has nothing to do with this. This is medicine, and any pharmacist who has a so called "higher aliegence to god" should find another profession, maybe selling bibles or something.

12 years, 5 months ago

"I think its absolutly absurd that they can be allowed to force their own personal beliefs upon others. "

But that's precisely the point, you are forcing YOUR personal beliefs on THEM.

ANY economic transaction (which is what buying pills is) takes two voluntary participants: the buyer and the seller. In saying that another person MUST take part in a given transaction, regardless of whether they want to, you are forcing them. If they don't want to take part, they are in no way forcing you, because you can go somewhere else. And you should.

"Do they have the right to deny that person medical care? No. "

Certainly they do. Or rather, they have a right to not provide it, which is not the same thing. The recent Supreme Court case that said the police have no legal obligation to protect you said as much. ALL transactions must be voluntary, and you have no more right to medical care (if it involves an unwilling provider) than you have to garden care if it involves enslaving someone else to cull your tobacco plants.

You only have a right to what you purchase. And if the other person does not want to enter an economic transaction for whatever reason, then there's no purchase.

"god has nothing to do with this. "

Exactly right. All it has to do with is whether any person can force another person to complete an economic transaction that they would rather, because of conscience, not take part in.

pylon25 12 years, 5 months ago

Its about the obligation to your profession. An EMT is obligated by their profession to provide care. A pharmacist is obligated by their profession to provide prescriptions. A lawyer is obligated to represent their client. It's all about obligation, and not a preconceived notion of morality or what would please god. Screw god. Dispense the pills to the women who have the prescriptions.

12 years, 5 months ago

"A lawyer is obligated to represent their client."

But a lawyer has a perfect right to NOT represent a client if he so chooses. If he accepts the job, then yes, he has an obligation. But no one can force a lawyer to represent someone he doesn't want to. If that were the case, then the defendant is, for all intents and purposes, enslaving the lawyer.

I'm a volunteer firefighter. As such, I voluntarily risk my life to save people and property. But I do not have a legal or moral obligation to do so. I choose to.

And yes, I can walk away from your house if I don't want to save it. I probably won't. But I can.

Same with pharmacists. My desire (even need) to purchase pills does not obligate anyone else to enter into a transaction with me, just like the fact that I need a lawyer does not mean that I can force any lawyer to represent me.

pylon25 12 years, 5 months ago

I think the acceptance of the Job, of the profession, creates the obligation. Going into the Pharmacy, i think it creates that moral obligation to serve the public by providing prescriptions to people without discrimination.

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