Saturday, July 28, 2007

Pharmacists sue to avoid having to do their jobs

From the Department of Why'd You Become a Pharmacist Anyway? comes this story (actually the NYT via TFN):
SEATTLE (AP) -- Pharmacists have sued Washington state over a new regulation that requires them to sell emergency contraception, also known as the "morning-after pill."

In a lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday, a pharmacy owner and two pharmacists say the rule that took effect Thursday violates their civil rights by forcing them into choosing between "their livelihoods and their deeply held religious and moral beliefs."


Under the new state rule, pharmacists with personal objections to a drug can opt out by getting a co-worker to fill an order. But that applies only if the patient is able to get the prescription in the same pharmacy visit.

Sold as Plan B, emergency contraception is a high dose of the drug found in many regular birth-control pills. It can lower the risk of pregnancy by as much as 89 percent if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.
I'll just ask a few questions that flow from logical extensions of what I presume to be the pharmacists' reasoning. First question: can a pharmacist who is also a Christian Scientist refuse to dispense any medication, preferring prayer instead? Or how about this: If a pharmacist refuses to dispense Plan B to a woman who had been raped, and she ends up having to carry the child to term, can the pharmacist be held responsible for child support payments? I ask this because (1) presumably the child's biological father would be in prison and therefore unable to make money for child support, and (2) most state laws put a child's best interests over the interests of the parents or other responsible parties and someone has to support the child.

Or is it just that life begins at conception and ends at birth for these pharmacists?

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