Friday, April 14, 2006

What freedom of religion isn't

Freedom of religion is not the freedom to become a pharmacist and then deny patients legally prescribed medication because of your personal moral objections to the patient's life choices. That's not freedom of religion. That's the freedom to oppress others ... sorry, fundamentalists, you don't have that right.

Now, to me, the obvious solution for a person who has moral objections to the job description of being a pharmacist would be to not become a pharmacist, but that solution doesn't seem to present itself to these pharmacists. I say we help them out.

I'm not sure if there already is, but there should be some sort of pharmacist equivalent to the American Bar Association which can de-license pharmacists who refuse prescriptions for illigitimate private reasons. This is a necessary step, because if we grant personal faith as a legitimate reason to refuse to fill prescriptions, then we are granting pharmacists the right to refuse to fill any prescription for any reason. When people's health is at stake, that is unacceptable.

3 comments:

r. flitworth said...

Great points, H.G. To my dismay (actually, to my outrage and fury), Washington is considering a proposal to allow what it calls "pharmacists' refusal." (A news article quoted a pharmacist opining that this is one of her rights as a citizen.)

How ridiculous. Pharmacists are employed to fill doctors' prescriptions and provide drug information. Period. Not to impose their religious or moral judgments on customers who come to them in times of need - ill, traumatized, or in pain - by adding another level of decision-making, not based on medicine or science, between doctor and patient.

Post-rant: Google brought up the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, which describes itself as "the independent, international, and impartial association that assists its member boards and jurisdictions in developing, implementing, and enforcing uniform standards for the purpose of protecting the public health." Otherwise, it appears that the states operate their own boards of pharmacy.

Impatient Patient said...

Just had that happen up here in Canada- a good friend wanted Plan B and was told that the pharmacist did not believe in it so she would not dispense it. She did not offer to get someone who would, nor did she refer her elsewhere.

Umm- I don't think that my friend asked what her beliefs were, do you??? oh, and where I am from there is a pharmacists moral objection clause written into whatever.

What if the pharmacist decides screw it- I just don't believe in LIFE one day????? Screw it- no renewals- you can all just croak?

Doctors up here can be just as bad. Never say IUD to a fundamentalist gynecologist who has his head up your ass.....The utensils hurt.

Anonymous said...

My father was a pharmacist. He would have whole-heartedly agreed with you.