Pharmacists Refusing Birth Control

I read this in the Chicago Tribune this morning:

U.S. lawmakers hear views on Illinois’ pharmacy rule

By Kristie A. Martinez
Cox News Service
Published July 26, 2005

WASHINGTON – Pharmacist Luke Vander Bleek considers himself a religious person, and the government shouldn’t force him to distribute contraceptives against his will, he told Congress on Monday.

“I have not been able to find any significant science that is able to convince me as a pharmacist that these products don’t endanger a human embryo,” Vander Bleek, who owns four pharmacies in Illinois’ Whiteside and DeKalb Counties, told the House Committee on Small Business.

Megan Kelly of Geneva, Ill., who was recently refused birth control and emergency contraceptives at a local pharmacy, told the panel she supports an emergency rule issued by Gov. Rod Blagojevich in April requiring all pharmacies that sell contraceptives of any kind to also fill birth control prescriptions.

“When pharmacists refuse to dispense medicine, they are not doing their job,” Kelly said. “Their job is to dispense medication, not moral judgment.”

The hearing was called to review the effect of the new rule, which requires pharmacies to also offer emergency contraceptives, which are taken after unprotected intercourse.

Bills similar to Blagojevich’s rule are pending in the House and Senate. They also would require pharmacists who refuse to fill certain prescriptions for moral or religious reasons to have another pharmacist distribute the medication, or to transfer the prescription to another pharmacy.

Views among the committee members split along partisan lines.

“No one, least of all a health-care provider, should be required to violate his or her conscience by participating in procedures that he or she deems harmful,” said Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.).

But Rep. Nydia Velasquez of New York, the panel’s senior Democrat, said she was appalled that the group would even hold a hearing on what she called a women’s rights issue.

“What is happening today is quite clear. This committee is being used to push the conservative ideological agenda of one person forward,” she said. “What will be next for this committee? Why not start talking about men and their ability to access Viagra?”

Also on Monday, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney vetoed a bill expanding access to emergency contraception, angering abortion rights advocates while pleasing anti-abortion activists crucial to a 2008 presidential run. The veto could be overturned because the bill passed with veto-proof margins in both the House and Senate.

I am in favor of this ruling being upheld, nd I hope the US lawmakers agree. There is no such things as “pharmacist’s rights.” When you take a job where your duty is to give out pills to people who have prescriptions, you don’t have the right to determine who gets what. Allowing pharmacists this choice is blatant sexual discrimination. After all, as the article says, they don’t have any problems filling out those wonderful little viagra prescriptions. If you are so offended by this, maybe you should have chosen a line of work where your views would be less of an issue. They should be forced to give out birth control or be fired (or even have their licenses revoked).

Pharmacists aren’t there to decide what you get. As much as I hate certain kinds of MDs, the point is, your purpose as the pharmacist is to follow the instructions of the individual trained to make these judgements.

Exactly. You can’t work at a Taco Bell and refuse to give out Enchiritos because you don’t think they’re healthy. You can’t work at a game store and refuse to give out Xboxes because you don’t like Microsoft’s business practices. Why would you be able to work as a pharmacist and not give out medications, whether you agree with them or not?

And I’ll just make a pretty worthless post by repeating what you guys said: It’s your job, do it. Pharmacists don’t have a say in what they distribute, if the papers are in order they have as much power over what you acquire as a wal-mart retail seller.

It is the doctor’s judgement call, and they already made it by writing the prescription in the first place.

Pharmacists don’t take the hippocratic oath.

That guy should be fired and banned from being a pharmacist.

What if the pharmacist was a christian scientist? Does that mean he can deny a sick kid penacilin?

Evil Dave makes a very good point about the antibiotic thing.

A Christian Scientist pharmacist is probably as common as a Satanic nun.

But yeah, this is pretty fucked up. It’s their job to dispense the medication, not to decide what medication is best for someone. If they decided against giving someone birth control pills, would they next want to refuse drugs because they think that mental disorders don’t exist? There is a good reason that we don’t put that kind of power into their hands.

That would be like a Scientologist Pharmacist.

Plus, what if some woman goes to get the morning after pill because she got raped. The guy is going to deny her the pill? “No, you need to have that rapist’s baby because I am a huge fucking asshole.”

Whew, not as bad as I thought. Due to dyslexia and distraction, I thought the title was <b>Pharmasists <i>Reusing</i> Birth Control</b>.

LOL…I don’t even wanna know how that would work out. :stuck_out_tongue:

But yeah…a Pharmasist who refuses to give someone their prescription should get their ass fired, period.

Too bad, as I was prepared to type out a full and exhaustive treatise on how such practices might be employed…purely as an intellectual exercise, of course. <_<

This guy chose the dumb way out. He disagreed with something that was in his job description, but instead of looking for a new job (opening a Christian Pharmacy, for instance; never miss an opportunity to create a niche enterprise/cottage industry) he decided that his agenda was <i>mas importante</i>.

He’s rolled his own; now he has to smoke it, 'cause no one else will do it for him.

Ugh. I hate these people. I hate them, I hate them, and I wish they would die.

Thier job is not just to dispense drugs. If it were so, any schmuck off the street could be a pharmacist. Thier job to know EXACTLY what the drugs do and how they can potentially alter someone’s body. A doctor’s knowledge of drugs may be lacking. There’s a reason a perscription can take a fair time to complete.

So they CAN deny drugs, but it had better be for a damn good reason (interactions with other drugs, etc.)

This is not a good reason. A good reason would be if the patient’s life is in danger. They’re not even USING that reason.

Strangely, I don’t see “make my moral descisions for me” in the job duties. Maybe it’s because IT’S NOT?

Next: emergency contraceptives, from what I know, prevent the embryo from implanting- an occurence that actually happens quite often. They’re not “abortion pills”. So much for knowledge of the drug.

I would like to know if these guys are simply refusing them or taking the perscriptions as well. The first can be bad enough, especially in a small town with only one pharmacy, or if another pharmacy cannot be easily reached. But at least you can still get the drugs. If they’re taking them… I’m pretty sure you can be criminally charged for that.

The fact is, you CAN’T go be a pharmacist and refuse perscriptions for “moral” reasons. It’s like joining the army, going through basic training, and telling your commander that you’re a pacifist. You’ve committed yourself to the job, dipshit, I don’t want to hear any of that. If you’re a pacifist, stay out of the army. If you don’t like giving out perscriptions for moral or religious reasons… go be a priest.

Finally, I leave a message, composed by Arkhan in FARK.com about your opinions, you dumbass:
You have been officially pwned. Now go do your job asshole. (Go do a page search for “Arkhan”)

Wow. Arkhan really gave them a what-for. I sympathize with his wife.

Do your job or get fired, Asshole.

Seriously, If I want a MORAL judgement, I’m not going to go the the damned pharmacy to get it. Open a Morals R Us Store if you want to sit in a box and try to run peoples lives against their will. You know, the Bible forbids charging interest, so if I’m a cashier, I’m personally going to refuse credit cards. Come on!

Some people really bother me, I wish his parents had used such contraceptives.

That guy has the right to believe that giving birth control pills to women is evil. But people have the right to buy those pills, and it isn’t written anywhere that this guy had the right to refuse giving them. Even if some new law must be created regarding this issue, this guy still commited a crime when he disrespected someone else’s rights.

You’re a pharmacist, you do what pharmacists are supposed to do ( see above ), not ask moral questions and philosophise, that’s what priests and philophers and bums do.