Saturday, April 02, 2005

Common Sense: the panacea for a pharmacist's moral health

Lindsay Beyerstein has a great post regarding "pharmacist's rights" and the states that have enacted/are considering CO legislation to allow pharmacists the right to refuse to perform all required duties of their job when they disapprove of a medication and/or the use of a medication by a certain patient population on moral grounds. We've all heard the stories: Pharmacist Refuses to Fill Prescription for EC to Rape Victim; Pharmacist cites sin and refuses to fill prescription for contraception to college student (this is the guy who refused to return or forward the prescription and then complained about the girl coming back to the pharmacy with 2 cops "They were trying to scare me. . .They had no business there. It certainly wasn't a police matter. ... For a free country, it is really an embarrassment. They asked for my address and said they were filing a report."); etc. I've commented on on Lindsay's post, at the NARAL Bush v Choice blog and other places as these stories broke, and I've got to say this whole "need" to legislate CO status to protect the moral and psychic health of pharmacistsis the biggest crock imaginable. I can't believe people actually fall for it. . .but then I think and I realize people aren't falling for it, it's yet another creation of religious fundamentalists to impose their views of morality on the rest of the world.

If these people are really concerned only about their own morality and mental health, such that the feel the act of filling a prescription for contraception makes them complicit in the sins of sexual immorality and/or abortion, there is one very simple way for them to continue in their profession in good conscience without the requirement of any legislation to allow them to perform duties they find objectionable: work in a pharmacy that does not stock (and therefore does not accept prescriptions for) any potentially offensive medications such as contraceptives.

  • Pharmacies associated with Catholic Hospitals do not stock/fill prescriptions for contraceptive agents as all forms of contraception, except "Natural Family Planning", are expressly forbidden by the Catholic Church. A pharmacist who would be psychically damaged by filling a prescription for any agents of immorality should feel comfortable knowing a pharmacy affiliated with the Catholic Church would never put them in a position to do so, let alone require it is part of their job.
  • I'm sure there must be Christian (capital C, that means Evangelical/Fundamentalist) pharmacies out there that do not stock contraceptives or any other medication that has even remote abortifacient properties on principle. [I tried to find some online, but the ones I found via 711 (Ameripills & BuyRxMed) sell contraceptives - go figure!].
  • Open your own Christian Pharmacy with support of your community.

Options abound without being put in that horrid position of having a job description that includes filling morally objectionable medications. There can only be one reason why this would not be an acceptable alternative for those seeking legislation to permit refusal of healthcare services (including filling/dispensation of prescriptions) and that's the fact that they're not objecting to the duty to prevent their personal emotional pain; they want the right to inflict pain on those who use these medications

Our little RxBuddy who was so offended by police action, refused to return the patient's prescription or forward it to another pharmacist under the grounds that "It would be a sin to induce another to sin. Whether they participated or not, I would be participating in the bucket brigade." I find this to be a very curious statement. Wouldn't allowing another pharmacist at the pharmacy to fill and dispense sin inducing medications (he had an agreement he wouldn't have to fill prescriptions for contraceptives; ostensibly when he wasn't working alone, the other pharmacist on duty would handle these prescriptions) make him equally complicit? One would think, using his reasoning, that working at such a pharmacy would be tacit condonation of his employer's policy as it enables induction of sin. So this begs the question, why would any pharmacist spiritually sensitive enough to consider filling/dispensing/transferring contraceptive prescriptions sinful take employment at a pharmacy that actually stocks and sells them?

Tags: ; ; ; ;

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: