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Author Topic: refusing meds on moral grounds
faifai
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"Cedar River Clinics, a women's health and abortion provider with facilities in Renton, Tacoma, and Yakima, filed a complaint with the Washington State Department of Health this week alleging three instances where pharmacists raising moral objections refused to fill prescriptions for Cedar River clients. The complaint includes one incident at the Swedish Medical Center outpatient pharmacy in Seattle. According to the complaint, someone at the Swedish pharmacy said she was "morally unable" to fill a Cedar River patient's prescription for abortion-related antibiotics."

Read the article here

This is a subject that is seriously distressing. Basically, the Swedish Medical outpatient center refused to fill a prescription for antibiotics on moral grounds, solely because the prescription came from a women's health and abortion provider. They did not know what the antibiotics were for, specfically, but refused to fill it anyway.

The article also lists a complaint another woman filed with a different Washington clinic because they refused to give her vitamins that a pregnant woman can also use--the pharmacist is quoted as saying "she didn't need them if she wasn't pregnant."

What do you all think? Should a pharmacist be able to refuse to fill prescriptions if they can cite "conscientious, moral, or religious reasons" why they can't fill it?

Personally, I don't believe they should be able to deny anyone any of their medication because that is the purpose of a pharmacist, to fill prescriptions. Go into a different field if you don't agree with what's bound to happen with your job. This is one of those times I wish the whole field was full of computers--prescription ATMs, anyone?

[ 04-15-2006, 06:07 PM: Message edited by: faifai ]

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DarkChild717
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Wow. I totally missed this--it wasn't reported on the local news, or hasn't appeared yet.

Frankly, this happening in Yakima doesn't suprise me. Renton and Tacoma do, though. The Swedish Hospital one does, as well. All things considered, Washington's pretty liberal.

I agree, faifai. I could say, for instance, that I think that a person should just exercise and eat right to control their diabetes, and I object morally to dispensing glucophage. That wouldn't go over well. A pharmacist's job is to fill prescriptions from a doctor's orders. Obviously, there's a reason that a person is GOING TO the pharmacy to get their meds, not just for giggles.

So does this mean that they'll stop dispensing Tetracyclene, because it's used to treat STDs? Despite the fact that it's also used to treat mild acne, and other minor infections?

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Heather
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Well, understand that a little while back, at the end of 2004, the Bush admin DID pass a law that ALLOWS for this. (I'm sure I mentioned it somewhere here at the time, or in the blog.)

And it was NOT passed so a pharmacist could object to, say, filling someone's prescription for hypothyroid drugs because they've vegan and those drugs are bovine-based. It was passed EXPRESSLY to cut access to EC, BC and abortion-related issues.

And in case it's not obvious: no, I don't agree with this. if a person has moral objections to dispensing ANY prescribed drugs, they should choose another line of work, because being a pharmacist is about filling those prescriptions, as decided by a medical professional for their patient, end of story.

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Beppie
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quote:
Originally posted by Miz Scarlet:

And in case it's not obvious: no, I don't agree with this. if a person has moral objections to dispensing ANY prescribed drugs, they should choose another line of work, because being a pharmacist is about filling those prescriptions, as decided by a medical professional for their patient, end of story.

This sums up my sentiment perfectly as well. It's like saying that a white-supremacist teacher should be allowed to not teach about the civil rights movement in history because of so-called "moral" objections-- any people who have such objections shouldn't be in these professions.
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origami_jane
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Leaving "conflicting morals" out of this, a pharmacist simply does not have the medical authority to come between a doctor and a patient.

This whole mess makes me want to bang my head against a wall. Repeatedly. It's such utter crap.

Oh, do you guys have any book/essay/whatever suggestions for framing arguments against things like this? I guess it's because I'm young and my brain isn't totally wired yet, but I get so caught up in the emotional side of things that I can't make a decent argument against... say, in a totally theoretical situation, one's hardline conservative, anti-sex, homophobic, white supremacist mother.

You guys always have good book suggestions anyway. (Should this be in a new topic?)

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Saint_Sithney
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In a privately owned business, it's really no business of the government whether the pharmacist chooses to or not to fill prescriptions. If they have moral objections to carrying certain medications in their own business, then let the law of economics make or break them, and no one should have the right to sue them.
In a publically owned business, it's up to the company, not the personal pharmacist. If the company stocks the medication, it's their business to make sure it gets dispensed, whether by always making sure they have a pharmacist with no moral objections on staff or firing/reprimanding said pharmacist. While it's very possible that the particular pharmacist entered the career before EC pills were available, and religious beliefs should be respected, it is in the best interests of the company to have staff without the same objections.

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Heather
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quote:
If they have moral objections to carrying certain medications in their own business, then let the law of economics make or break them, and no one should have the right to sue them.
So, let's say you live in, oh, rural Montana. And the ONLY pharmacy that is not a one day drive or more refuses to dispense the insulin you need to survive on moral grounds.

Or the Vitamin B you need not to physically survive, but, as an AIDS pateint, what's vital to sustain enough energy for you to be able to just get up and around.

Or the antibiotics you need to deal with a Syphilis infection so you don't die.

Ot the EC you need because your husband raped you.

No one should have the right to take legal action because a business which is SUPPOSED to be in the business of protecting your health, which claims to be by virtue of BEING that business, isn't doing that?

No matter WHAT the medicine, why not?

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Saint_Sithney
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If the person who owns the business has religious objections to stocking a certain item, it is their right not to stock it. The government should not be able to tell private businesses what they can and can not sell, barring illegal substances.

On the same vein, say the pharmacist is an 80-year-old Roman Catholic. He inherited the pharmacy from his parents. When he got into the business, the EC pill did not exist, and he thought long and hard about it when it came out. He has decided that while he can sell standard birth control pills, his religion strongly dictates that life begins the second the sperm and the egg connect and to dispense the pill would be to commit a grievous sin. He fears it would jeopardize his soul to dispense the medication. If that is his private business, should his religious rights and business rights be trumped? If he works for, say, K-mart, then they have every right to fire him for not dispensing the medication. But the government should not be able to step in and tell him to stock something in his own store that he firmly believes to be an evil thing. It would be like mandating to a Muslim butcher that he must stock pork, even though just touching it would render him unclean.

I understand where you're coming from with the rural arguement, but while I fully agree in corporations protecting their business interests by censuring objecting pharmacists that work for their company, I can not agree in allowing the government to force private businesses to stock certain things. In most cases, it would end up with convenience of the patient/customer being trumped by freedom of religion, as ethically, all pharmacists should be able to provide an alternate way for their patients to get their medicine if they have a belief against stocking it. Maybe if any regulation must be passed, making it law that pharmacists must transfer prescriptions that they are unwilling to fill? If it comes down to the rural scenario, either way you go, someone's rights get trod upon.

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Heather
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You know, the thing is, the Hippocratic Oath simply does not support this. To my knowledge, licensed pharmacists don't have to take this oath (does anyone know about this?), but it's understood, by virtue of their vocation, that they accept a doctor has, and they are to go by the DOCTOR'S orders. Licensure issues are state-to-state, but there are codes which apply to pharmacists which relate.

quote:
Maybe if any regulation must be passed, making it law that pharmacists must transfer prescriptions that they are unwilling to fill? If it comes down to the rural scenario, either way you go, someone's rights get trod upon.
Well, rural issues aren't slight: we have greater population desnity in cities, but most of the space we've got going in the world isn't city. A simple transfer to someplace a day's drive or more away doesn't do squat for the woman who already has five kids she can barely feed, doesn't have her own vehicle, and has a hard enough time obtaining and paying for the birth control she uses already.

Religious rights, and keeping people healthy and alive -- when you have agreed to do just that, and put yourself in the position where you claim to do so -- really aren't comprable in my book. A pharmacist is not forced into his or her job: they make a CHOICE to enter a proffession where it is their JOB to have choices be about the patient, and about their health. Not their immortal soul or the innate burdens a given religious sect thinks women should have to bear because of their belifs about women.

We're not seeing conflicts here that are anything but sexism. I mean, I'm sure that plenty of shellfish-based meds are dispensed without a thought, even though Biblically-speaking, one shouldn't support the eating of shellfish. I'm sure that pharmacists who are Catholic aren't keeping razors from men, even though, again, shaving the face in a no-no biblically. I'm sure that their "evils" are very selective, and that for most, involve OTHERS endagering themselves to keep these guys from these big evils. I'm sure that they're also ignoring parts of the Bible -- when this is religious at all -- which make clear that it's not their place to be putting their religion on someone else regardless.

This stuff isn't about religious freedom or doctrine: that's a red herring. It's about arbitrary choices people make about someone else's body that, as a pharmacist, the very definition of their job makes clear they should NOT be making.

quote:
It would be like mandating to a Muslim butcher that he must stock pork, even though just touching it would render him unclean.
All of which is why something like this is a really poor analogy. A butcher isn't in the heathcare business, a butcher isn't making a business which is implicitly about PROVIDING medications to patients, not deciding -- against their doctors orders -- what they can and cannot take.

And a person who is seriously concerned about ethics in any real way? Would remove themselves from a situation in which their personal beliefs and ethics made them literally unable to do the job they have agreed to do.

Part of the trouble with this argument is that this is NOT about all medications or religious doctrine. I don't know of a single case where ANYTHING besides BC, EC, post-abortion treatments or STI treatments have been refused. These are all items for women (oh, of course), and when BushCo passed through the law allowing pharmacists to refuse it was EXPRESSLY to curtail women's rights, in an administration which continues to chip away at women's healthcare, at women in general (the VAWA cuts, the Title X and Title IX issues, removing BC from Medicare coverage while ADDING Viagra coverage, and more, more and so much more). It was not and is not about religious freedom, thugh that makes for a mighty fine excuse, especially for those who practice their religions by only practicing the parts of doctrine they like and ditching the stuff they don't, or the stuff which would give THEM less freedoms. It is naive to think this whole matter is about religious freedom: it's not. It is manipulative, really, to present it as if it was if one already knows this isn't really about religion.

Edited to add...

I knew there was at least one standard ethical code written up for pharms, just couldn't find it. But voila: http://www.uspharmd.com/rxcode.htm

Of special import there are lines like: "In all cases, a pharmacist respects personal and cultural differences among patients," under "A pharmacist respects the autonomy and dignity of each patient." And: "A pharmacist avoids discriminatory practices, behavior or work conditions that impair professional judgment, and actions that compromise dedication to the best interests of patients."


[ 04-17-2006, 04:13 PM: Message edited by: Miz Scarlet ]

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logic_grrl
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f the person who owns the business has religious objections to stocking a certain item, it is their right not to stock it.

However, pharmacists are not just businesspeople: they're licenced health professionals, who are required to abide by specific professional and ethical codes, including putting the welfare of the patient first.

And obviously, individual pharmacists benefit considerably from the fact that only licensed pharmacists are allowed to sell prescription medications.

That's a commercial monopoly which they are granted in return for following certain professional codes - in other words, the government already "forces" them to behave in certain ways (whether those coincide with their personal beliefs or not) if they want to be licensed and enjoy the benefits of being licensed.

If they truly want to treat emergency contraception as parallel to, say, bacon, i.e. an ordinary item which any store-owner can choose to stock or not at will - then the logical flip-side of that would be that it should be sold like bacon: over the counter, by anyone who wants to sell it, to anyone who wants to buy it.

[ 04-17-2006, 03:52 PM: Message edited by: logic_grrl ]

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Heather
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quote:
If they truly want to treat emergency contraception as parallel to, say, bacon, i.e. an ordinary item which any store-owner can choose to stock or not at will - then the logical flip-side of that would be that it should be sold like bacon: over the counter, by anyone who wants to sell it, to anyone who wants to buy it.
EXACTLY. Amen, sister.
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Saint_Sithney
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Looking back, yeah the bacon analogy was bad. But maybe a better one would be drafting a member of the Society of Friends into the Army, whether they end up in combat or not. It just goes that strongly against their religious principles that they wouldn't feel that they could live with themselves, and even the thought violating them puts them in anguish.
Most of my friends and a lot of my family is Catholic, and while I personally have no problem with the EC pill, some of them have extreme problems with it. To them, being asked to dispense the medication is the same as a devoted pacifist being asked to shoot a person- they draw no distinction between the two cases. Like I said, either way, someone gets their rights violated- on one hand, a person's right to medical privacy, and on the other, a person's right to following their religion and their rights as a private business owner.
I don't think it's right to not sell medication when you're in the business of doing so, but I also don't think it's right to force someone to violate their strong religious beliefs.

Yes, maybe they should find professions where they're less likely to encounter violations of their religious principles, but how many of these pharmacists are newly-started in their businesses, and how many are older people who have been in the career for many years where they wouldn't have had to make that particular moral decision when they entered the profession?

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'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.
'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
'I never know what you are thinking. Think.'
-T.S. Eliot The Waste Land

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logic_grrl
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But maybe a better one would be drafting a member of the Society of Friends into the Army, whether they end up in combat or not.

In what way? Nobody is forcing anyone to work as a pharmacist.

how many are older people who have been in the career for many years where they wouldn't have had to make that particular moral decision when they entered the profession?

But all of them, when they entered the profession, made the moral decision to abide by the professional codes of the job, which include placing the patient's welfare first. If they sincerely think that they can't follow those codes any more, then they are free to leave the profession.

Here's an example for you. Would you be happy with a nurse who said, "OK, this patient desperately needs a blood transfusion, and the doctor has ordered me to give them one - but as a Jehovah's Witness, I believe blood transfusions are immoral, so I am going to sit by and watch the patient suffer and possibly die instead"?

Would you be arguing, in that case, that maybe the nurse was 80 years old and had trained before blood transfusions were widespread, and so she shouldn't be "forced" to give blood transfusions, and if there were no other nurses available, tough, the patient would just have to bleed to death?

Or would you accept that it was wrong for her to impose her religious beliefs on the patient, and that if she was determined to prioritze her religion over the doctor's judgement and the patient's welfare, she shouldn't be in that profession?

a person's right to following their religion

Nobody is violating anyone's right to follow their religion here. If someone believes EC is against their religion, they are completely free not to take it themselves.

What this is about is people claiming the "right" to impose their religion on other people, by denying them their prescription medication.

Let's look at another example: imagine someone goes to a pharmacy to collect their heart medication, say, or their anti-depressants. And the pharmacist says, "Sorry, but your medication only comes in gelatin capsules, which happen to be made out of beef gelatin. And I'm a Hindu. So, since there's no other pharmacy around here, you'll just have to go without."

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"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - the Talmud

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Saint_Sithney
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In certain sects of Christianity, selling an EC pill is considered the same as performing an abortion. According to their religious beliefs, they are being asked to commit murder. While selling antibiotics to treat venereal disease may strike them as distateful and an offence to their religion, it's not really on the same level. In their eyes, the EC pill is exactly the same as murdering an infant, which they can not bring themselves to do.
Like I said, I know many Catholics and live in a very Catholic community (actual practicing Catholics, as rare as those are) While I'm definitely playing devil's advocate here (pardon the choice of words), the depth and actual nature of their religious conviction doesn't seem to be well understood. Even though I know that it's not an 'abortion pill', in the eyes of these pharmacists, they are being asked to perform an abortion. They hold very strongly that abortion is never an option good for the health and wellbeing of their patients and that it is actively harmful, so in their minds, they are upholding professional ethics. No, it's not their job to legislate morality, but if it's their own business they can do whatever they want.

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'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.
'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
'I never know what you are thinking. Think.'
-T.S. Eliot The Waste Land

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Karybu
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quote:
No, it's not their job to legislate morality, but if it's their own business they can do whatever they want.
Legally, though, in terms of prescription medication, they really can't. It's a pharmacist's job to put the patient's welfare first, as decided by a physician and the patient - NOT the pharmacist. No one forced them to become pharmacists, and they knew what the job would require when they decided on the profession.

I completely understand that many people hold deep religious beliefs and convictions. But I also feel that if a person's religious beliefs are in possible conflict with the job they are supposed to be doing, then they shouldn't be doing that job in the first place - there's a choice there. Everyone has the right to practice their religion - if EC is against a pharmacist's religious beliefs, they are perfectly free not to take it. However, refusing to give EC to someone else is not practicing their religion, it is imposing their religious beliefs on someone else - and that is not their right.

[ 04-18-2006, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: karybu ]

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Heather
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quote:
While I'm definitely playing devil's advocate here (pardon the choice of words), the depth and actual nature of their religious conviction doesn't seem to be well understood. Even though I know that it's not an 'abortion pill', in the eyes of these pharmacists, they are being asked to perform an abortion. They hold very strongly that abortion is never an option good for the health and wellbeing of their patients and that it is actively harmful, so in their minds, they are upholding professional ethics. No, it's not their job to legislate morality, but if it's their own business they can do whatever they want.
Per licensure codes, in a sound administration that did NOT have a very certain agenda to curtail religious rights, no, they really couldn't do whatever they want, anymore than a doctor who wanted to keep his license could.

Which would be why they are losing cases trying to defend this, even in a political climate which would otherwise support this malarkey, and which would be why even highly conservative pharmacy bizzes like Wal-Mart are caving on this.

I'm certain we DO understand the gravity of certain people's beliefs (however ludicrous, because no, given EC is the same as BC, I can't suspend disbelief because of someone else's chosen delusion and ignorance if they say one can be used but the other cannot, no matter how religious it may or may not be). I've worked very visibly in young adult and women's sexuality for over eight years now; I read my email. Which is sometimes seriously unpleasant. I also grew up the unplanned and unwanted child of one parent raised more staunchly Irish Catholic, and another raised by one staunchly Roman Catholic parent, and I live in this culture and have for 36 years: it's really, really hard to miss what Catholic and Xian perspectives are. Would that I could. Believe me, I get the gravity of some people's belief systems on these issues. And if you'll look back up to logic_grrl's last example, it's perhaps worth a reminder that people of ANY given faith or belief system may have conflicts per a job like this (and thus also should then exempt themselves): as a Buddhist, there could be possible junctures where I would, myself. Catholics don't have a monopoly on taking their beliefs seriously, nor do they get an easy out nobody else'd get.

The point, however, which is the fly in the ointment of the argument you keep making, is that if it is so grave, and if they also take their professional ethics as seriously, THEY have the choice to not practice pharmacology by virtue of knowing they have a personal ethics conflict that keeps them from doing their job, which is specifically and very clearly not to address a patient's soul, but their BODIES and physical health. They want to do the other thing, they can go into the ministry.

(And before you try going to the place that they do or might "believe" EC is WORSE for a woman's health than a pregnancy, just don't. This dead horse is beaten hard enough. If a licensed healthcare pro chooses to believe that, they would be grossly dismissing or remianing purposely uneducated in medical fact and reality in that regard which, again, their job dictates they NOT do.)

[ 04-18-2006, 01:27 PM: Message edited by: Miz Scarlet ]

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LilBlueSmurf
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As a healthcare professional, i think you're seriously missing the point of 'working in the patients best interest'.

I'm a nurse. I give medications and treatments that i may otherwise be against every day. But guess what? I am not the patients doctor. The patient's doctor ordered these medications/treatments, and the patient agreed to take them.

I do not get to trump the patients right to choose their best method of treatment, and neither should any other health care professional.

Truly keeping the patients best interest in mind means understanding that most patients do not take caring for their health lightly, and that chances are good that they are actually making an educated decision. Everyone else is not less educated than you just because you do not agree.

And i don't care what kind of healthcare professional we're talking about here, you can NEVER say you know whats better for the patient than the patient does. You can present the options for them, educate them, counsel them, but you have no right making these choices for them. THAT is certainly NOT keeping the patients best interest in mind.

(And i use 'you' loosely here ... That is a general 'you' not a personal 'you' [Wink] )

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Saint_Sithney
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Maybe it's mostly because I'm very anti-government interference in the private sector. I know what the EC pill does, and I've heard many arguments for and against it. However, in the rare case that the pharmacist has religious beliefs so strong that they believe providing the pill to anyone is a mortal sin, they should have the right not to stock it in their own private business. All the pharmacists who are being fired from large chains for not dispensing the pill deserve to be fired for not doing their jobs, regardless of their religious beliefs. But I believe the government should have as little to do with the private sector as possible, and that includes private businesses.

And I know Catholics don't have the monopoly on religious objections, I just am more familiar with Catholics than with most other religions. While I'm sure I'm beating a dead horse, you really can't get anywhere without diverging opinions.

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'My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.
'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
'I never know what you are thinking. Think.'
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diamonds4lucy
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quote:
Originally posted by Saint_Sithney:
And I know Catholics don't have the monopoly on religious objections, I just am more familiar with Catholics than with most other religions. While I'm sure I'm beating a dead horse, you really can't get anywhere without diverging opinions.

Then surely you're aware that the majority of Catholic women use some sort of birth control? That some Catholics are even pro-choice when it comes to abortions, my mother and father included? It's wrong to paint all Catholics, or Christians, for that matter, with one stroke. Many have much, much more liberal views, and don't see their religion and their politics in conflict. Why do you?

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Saint_Sithney
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Because the Catholics I know are very, very against abortion. I know some that are very, very against any form of birth control. The majority of people I know are conservatives. I don't think that many that many people can be refusing meds on moral grounds, otherwise it wouldn't be such a big news item. When you get down to the number of highly religious people who believe that the EC pill is evil (rare) who own their own pharmacies (rarer), it's an incredibly small number of people. Enough to make news, but probably not enough to really upset the balance of anything.

I probably should've specified that I know majority very conservative Catholics, and that I'm arguing their point because I'm more familiar with it.

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'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
'I never know what you are thinking. Think.'
-T.S. Eliot The Waste Land

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kitka
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One can argue for very conservative Catholics, but one ought to take account of how those people fit into the general scope of things. I, for one, know many Catholics who are fiercely pro-choice and rather "liberal"... the point here is not to make hasty generalizations in one's arguments.

I don't think that many that many people can be refusing meds on moral grounds, otherwise it wouldn't be such a big news item.

In fact, it is an item of interest because this is an unprecedented trend. I'd venture to say that refusal happens more often than it did 20 years ago, and in particular because of the current faith-based iniatives that hold political and pulbic sway.

the number of highly religious people who believe that the EC pill is evil (rare)

You might be suprised - there's a definite trend toward that very belief. It's not rare anymore. Women in AZ and IL and several other states have been refused their EC and BC presciptions on moral/religious grounds.

I have close friends who live in Oklahoma, where state legislators are attempting to pass a bill to that effect -i.e. a "conscience clause" allowing pharmacists to refuse to dispense EC.

In Oklahoma and other Midwestern/Southwestern states, this push largely comes from evangelical Christians who are not associated with mainstream sects. (In fact, there's a joke in Oklahoma that Catholics aren't Christians.) Catholics, one could argue, do not form the brunt of the pro - conscience clause argument.

Some states have a higher percentage of strict-religious minded people than others. Therefore, it's not beyond reason that there will be pharmacy workers who will refuse meds, particularly in those "Bible Belt" states.

Sidebar:
As far as drafting Quakers goes, that rarely happens, if ever. Concientious objector status on documented grounds of religious practice (barring previous enlistment, where the military can make it tricky) has been seldom questioned by the military in the last 15-20 years or longer. Forcing a man to fight and kill when his religion prevents him is quite different than dispensing medication.

As the erroneous arguments about EC and BC gain momentum, women's access to contraceptives will be in greater jeopardy, and particularly in more rural areas where there are fewer health care options to begin with.

[ 04-20-2006, 10:24 PM: Message edited by: kitka ]

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Heather
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Really nice additions, kitka.

I think it's also important to add that when we are talking about LICENSED pharmacists, they WILL likely lose these cases, unless licensure laws in given states ended up being changed to include this, which would be 1) astonishingly dangerous, because it would have to then support ANY medications, at all, someone didn't want to dispense that day for WHATEVER reason, and 2) tricky to do otherwise, because if it was JUST about EC and BC, you've got yourself one seriously easy class action lawsuit for discrimination and sexual harassment, since it WOULD be based on gender as only women use those meds.

But because of the overall politics of the world, and that fact that women as a class are an oppressed class, shamed for the simple ownership of their reproductive organs at every turn, the additional danger is that most women discrimintated against and endangered in this way will NOT take action, precisely because the effect of sexual shame on women -- and by sexual, I mean by virtue of their sex, not having sex -- has been so effective from men, from Catholicism as a wealthy institution, etc. Something like this is just one more indignity, one more smackdown and slap in the face for anyone with the unfortunate misfortune of being born female who is unwilling to have babies at any whim of the men in her life, the men who run her faith (and profit from it), and the men who have an out-of-whack control over her health.

Which is a big part of why worrying about the "rights" of a group of pharmacists, when the rights of the WHOLE class of women in the world REMAIN endangered, remain imbalanced, remain squelched -- even in a "devil's advocate" way -- is, to some of us, and certainly to myself, just downright distateful and infuriating. Most of these guys already have more rights and agency than the women who come to them for these prescriptions will ever have.

None of these pharmacists, who in nearly every case thus far are male, have anyone else controlling THEIR rights over their bodies: their rights to decide when they do or do not want to become and remain pregnant.

In a word, I could seriously care less about their problems with dispensing contraception for women whose bodies and souls they have zero right to ownership or control over, in a job they chose, a job where the policies and ethics are not very murky at all, and this crud is easily inarguably out of line with both. When such a time comes that the people and class they are further oppressing are no longer in that position, maybe then I could be bothered to care, but until that time, all they've got to do is choose a job, or, if it conflicts with their "morals," then not choose it.

And that's much more license than they're giving the women who come to them simply to have safe prescriptions filled so that they can be able to make far more difficult choices with far, far greater effects on their health and well-being.

[ 04-21-2006, 12:14 AM: Message edited by: Miz Scarlet ]

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DarkChild717
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As an update on the Washington state issue, the board is trying to meet things in the middle: Allow for objection if and only if there is another pharmacist who CAN fill the prescription on the premisis.

Here's the article, from Komo.

The rules are not yet written, and they're trying to grapple with how to fix loopholes to protect some pharmacists that others might use to avoid doing their duty of dispensing EC. There's a lot of good stuff there.

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