Druggists refuse to give out pill

zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
7
toronto
link

For a year, Julee Lacey stopped in a CVS pharmacy near her home in a Fort Worth suburb to get refills of her birth-control pills. Then one day last March, the pharmacist refused to fill Lacey's prescription because she did not believe in birth control.

"I was shocked," says Lacey, 33, who was not able to get her prescription until the next day and missed taking one of her pills. "Their job is not to regulate what people take or do. It's just to fill the prescription that was ordered by my physician."

Some pharmacists, however, disagree and refuse on moral grounds to fill prescriptions for contraceptives. And states from Rhode Island to Washington have proposed laws that would protect such decisions.

Mississippi enacted a sweeping statute that went into effect in July that allows health care providers, including pharmacists, to not participate in procedures that go against their conscience. South Dakota and Arkansas already had laws that protect a pharmacist's right to refuse to dispense medicines. Ten other states considered similar bills this year.

The American Pharmacists Association, with 50,000 members, has a policy that says druggists can refuse to fill prescriptions if they object on moral grounds, but they must make arrangements so a patient can still get the pills. Yet some pharmacists have refused to hand the prescription to another druggist to fill.

In Madison, Wis., a pharmacist faces possible disciplinary action by the state pharmacy board for refusing to transfer a woman's prescription for birth-control pills to another druggist or to give the slip back to her. He would not refill it because of his religious views.

Some advocates for women's reproductive rights are worried that such actions by pharmacists and legislatures are gaining momentum.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a provision in September that would block federal funds from local, state and federal authorities if they make health care workers perform, pay for or make referrals for abortions.

"We have always understood that the battles about abortion were just the tip of a larger ideological iceberg, and that it's really birth control that they're after also," says Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood (news - web sites) Federation of America.

"The explosion in the number of legislative initiatives and the number of individuals who are just saying, 'We're not going to fill that prescription for you because we don't believe in it' is astonishing," she said.

Pharmacists have moved to the front of the debate because of such drugs as the "morning-after" pill, which is emergency contraception that can prevent fertilization if taken within 120 hours of unprotected intercourse.

While some pharmacists cite religious reasons for opposing birth control, others believe life begins with fertilization and see hormonal contraceptives, and the morning-after pill in particular, as capable of causing an abortion.

"I refuse to dispense a drug with a significant mechanism to stop human life," says Karen Brauer, president of the 1,500-member Pharmacists for Life International. Brauer was fired in 1996 after she refused to refill a prescription for birth-control pills at a Kmart in the Cincinnati suburb of Delhi Township.

Lacey, of North Richland Hills, Texas, filed a complaint with the Texas Board of Pharmacy after her prescription was refused in March. In February, another Texas pharmacist at an Eckerd drug store in Denton wouldn't give contraceptives to a woman who was said to be a rape victim.

In the Madison case, pharmacist Neil Noesen, 30, after refusing to refill a birth-control prescription, did not transfer it to another pharmacist or return it to the woman. She was able to get her prescription refilled two days later at the same pharmacy, but she missed a pill because of the delay.

She filed a complaint after the incident occurred in the summer of 2002 in Menomonie, Wis. Christopher Klein, spokesman for Wisconsin's Department of Regulation and Licensing, says the issue is that Noesen didn't transfer or return the prescription. A hearing was held in October. The most severe punishment would be revoking Noesen's pharmacist license, but Klein says that is unlikely.

Susan Winckler, spokeswoman and staff counsel for the American Pharmacists Association, says it is rare that pharmacists refuse to fill a prescription for moral reasons. She says it is even less common for a pharmacist to refuse to provide a referral.

"The reality is every one of those instances is one too many," Winckler says. "Our policy supports stepping away but not obstructing."

(more)
i believe the tenor of the country, and its "newfound morality", gives power to pharmacists who choose to apply their personal beliefs to their jobs. should they be able to?
 

brap

macrumors 68000
May 10, 2004
1,701
0
Nottingham
zimv20 said:
i believe the tenor of the country, and its "newfound morality", gives power to pharmacists who choose to apply their personal beliefs to their jobs. should they be able to?
Hell no.

When I worked for the NHS nursing bank, we had to fill requests for nurses to go to abortion clinics; it's the principle of the thing. It's not your decision to make - the moral implications are nothing to do with you, as an intermediary. Who knows what kind of circumstances have led to this person wanting the 'morning after' pill, hm?
"It just recognizes that pharmacists should not be forced to choose between their consciences and their livelihoods," ...
If you can't stand the heat. We had Jehova's Witnesses who refused to work with blood on our books. Makes you wonder just where these people get off. The 'non-obstruciton' argument doesn't stand up, either; suppose through missing a pill an unwanted pregnancy, and thus conventional abortion takes place?

Sorry, not usually one to vent in Political, but this came up several times over the last year and it's sickening, from my dirty-liberal point of view.
 

Xtremehkr

macrumors 68000
Jul 4, 2004
1,897
0
Well, I never knew the word "Druggist" existed before today.

I wonder how long this religious ferver will last. What gets me is that businesses complain any kind of regulation and this is regulation of the most inane. If you are unwilling to fulfill the the requirements of the job, don't do it.

I would like to see where in the Bible it states that you shall not fill birth control prescriptions. You won't take birth control, fine, don't worry about others, respect thy neighbor and stuff.

All of this fundamentalist posturing is going to garner a reaction eventually, especially when it starts affecting people as they go about their normal day to day lives.
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
7
toronto
for the record, i disagree w/ the pharmacists who feel they can pick and choose which prescriptions to fill.

but let me pose these questions: should a waiter / waitress be empowered to not serve a drink to a pregnant woman? can the convenience store clerk refuse to sell cigarettes to a pregnant woman when s/he knows they're for the woman requesting them?
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
Once again, no. The real story here is the number of state legislatures which are apparently willing to pass laws to protect pharmacists who think they know what is best for everyone.
 

Xtremehkr

macrumors 68000
Jul 4, 2004
1,897
0
Oh yeah, I shouldn't forget the kooky legislature who made this law with obvious concerns for everybodies needs.

See, see why we have seperation of church and state??? Well, you will when it applies to you.
 

brap

macrumors 68000
May 10, 2004
1,701
0
Nottingham
zimv20 said:
for the record, i disagree w/ the pharmacists who feel they can pick and choose which prescriptions to fill.

but let me pose these questions: should a waiter / waitress be empowered to not serve a drink to a pregnant woman? can the convenience store clerk refuse to sell cigarettes to a pregnant woman when s/he knows they're for the woman requesting them?
There are fundamental differences between refusing to fulfil a prescription, given out by someone very well qualified indeed for the purpose of fixing a problem... and refusing to give out 'harmful' substances on some presumably ill-informed judgement. Nice try though ;)

In my opinion, nobody has any right to stop you from doing whatever the hell you want, harmful (in reality, or in perception - the eye of the beholder, so to speak). Isn't freedom of choice, you know, alleged to be a pillar of your society?
 

pseudobrit

macrumors 68040
Jul 23, 2002
3,418
4
Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
I guess they don't see things logically.

Refusing to dispense birth control precriptions, especially morning-after types (which are NOT abortion pills) will result in increased abortions, unwanted pregnancy and single-mother families.

What a bunch of dumb****s. The sweet irony is probably lost on them.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
Meanwhile...
Ashcroft Wants Oregon Suicide Law Blocked

The attorney general urges the Supreme Court to let federal agents go after doctors in the state who help patients end their lives.

WASHINGTON — Seeking to void the nation's only "right to die" law, outgoing Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to give federal agents the authority to punish Oregon doctors who help dying patients end their lives.

The Bush administration's top legal officer said that federal drug laws trumped the state's traditional control over the practice of medicine. Ashcroft is appealing the rulings of two lower courts, which held that Oregon has a right to regulate its doctors.

The case is the second before the high court this year in which the administration is challenging West Coast voters on matters of individual liberty and personal privacy.

The court on Nov. 29 will hear the case of Ashcroft vs. Raich, in which the Justice Department is seeking legal authority to raid the residences of those who use home-grown marijuana to relieve their pain. It is a challenge to California's pioneering 1996 law that allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

...
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-suicide10nov10,1,622331.story

Do we detect a pattern here?
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
I think this topic would have generated more posts if anyone could have offered a rational explanation for why states are passing laws allowing pharmacists to impose their religious beliefs on their customers.
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,366
119
Los Angeles
IJ Reilly said:
I think this topic would have generated more posts if anyone could have offered a rational explanation for why states are passing laws allowing pharmacists to impose their religious beliefs on their customers.
Yeah, threads on things will all pretty much agree on tend to die a quick death.


Lethal
 

Xtremehkr

macrumors 68000
Jul 4, 2004
1,897
0
That and the fact that it is hard to effect any change from where I am. From CA, what I am going to do, other than state the obvious, this is a bad move.

I disagree with what was done and agree with the purpose of the post, but simply protesting on a message board is a token action. Liberals need to put differences aside and form a cohesive unit that can actually benefit people. Constructive criticism maybe, simple protest is not going to do much, no matter how much I may agree.
 

Roger1

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2002
1,152
0
Michigan
This is stupid. Some forms of birth control pills are used to treat menstrual problems, not just used for birth control. How's the pharmacist supposed to know what they are used for? Unless the patient reveals their medical history to (yet) another person, in order to get their prescription filled :rolleyes:
 

pseudobrit

macrumors 68040
Jul 23, 2002
3,418
4
Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
Roger1 said:
This is stupid. Some forms of birth control pills are used to treat menstrual problems, not just used for birth control. How's the pharmacist supposed to know what they are used for? Unless the patient reveals their medical history to (yet) another person, in order to get their prescription filled :rolleyes:
Good point. Wait until one of them get his/her righteous ass sued off for endangering the life of some poor woman with dysmenorrhea. I rather hope they're thrown in jail and brought up on criminal charges for it though.

Oh, wait, thanks to Bush, their wilful and deliberate malice will simply be treated like an accident and at worst cost them $250k out of insurance.
 

stubeeef

macrumors 68030
Aug 10, 2004
2,702
2
but let me pose these questions: should a waiter / waitress be empowered to not serve a drink to a pregnant woman? can the convenience store clerk refuse to sell cigarettes to a pregnant woman when s/he knows they're for the woman requesting them?
While I understand the reason the pharms were feeling this way, I was a little taken aback that they could do it.

Zim's point was the thinking I came up with to justify it.

Also, if you are a prison guard, and it is your turn to throw the switch on death row, do you have to go. No because they use volunteers for that. But to some (those that refuse to fill the presc, this is identical).

There are usually routines in place for this, like the other guy/gal will fill it or the other store (can be inconvienant).
 

miloblithe

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2003
2,076
28
Washington, DC
Stu, the problem with your death row analogy is that the selection occurs before the event and for a known circumstance (throwing the switch). Arangments for those who object to throwing the switch can be made beforehand. For each individual person coming in to fill, what particular prescription they will require is not known.

Prescription filling and executions are not analogous and certainly not "identical" situations. It is always dangerous to reason by analogy. Instead of trying to come up with one, why not try to get to the heart of the question: does any individual have the right to use their job providing a service to the general public to impose their personal beliefs on particular members of that public?
 

stubeeef

macrumors 68030
Aug 10, 2004
2,702
2
miloblithe said:
Stu, the problem with your death row analogy is that the selection occurs before the event and for a known circumstance (throwing the switch). Arangments for those who object to throwing the switch can be made beforehand. For each individual person coming in to fill, what particular prescription they will require is not known.

Prescription filling and executions are not analogous and certainly not "identical" situations. It is always dangerous to reason by analogy. Instead of trying to come up with one, why not try to get to the heart of the question: does any individual have the right to use their job providing a service to the general public to impose their personal beliefs on particular members of that public?
A guard is paid with tax dollars to provide a service to the public, yet guards are not required to throw the switch, why, because it is against what many believe. Should all guards, paid with tax money, be required to throw the switch-a service to the general public?
Personnaly I am against the dealth penalty, and would not want to require them to.

Prescrition filling for the "morning after pill" is for some perfectly analagous. Whether in this country or another.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
Your analogy is far from perfect, and is an attempt to evade the real issue, which is that a pharmacist has no right to decide what drugs a person should or should not be taking. This is matter to be decided between a doctor and a patient, exclusively. I would go as far as to say that any pharmacist who has a problem dispensing any legal drug should find another line of work.
 

pseudobrit

macrumors 68040
Jul 23, 2002
3,418
4
Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
miloblithe said:
Prescription filling and executions are not analogous and certainly not "identical" situations. It is always dangerous to reason by analogy.
Especially when nothing -- NOTHING -- is ever killed by any contraceptives currently sold in the US.
 

pseudobrit

macrumors 68040
Jul 23, 2002
3,418
4
Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
The issue boils down to this: some people think women should be punished for having sex for pleasure.

Some people think their punishment should be that they're made to conceive and bear children because of this beleif.

Some of these people are pharmacists.
 

miloblithe

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2003
2,076
28
Washington, DC
stubeeef said:
A guard is paid with tax dollars to provide a service to the public, yet guards are not required to throw the switch, why, because it is against what many believe. Should all guards, paid with tax money, be required to throw the switch-a service to the general public?
Personnaly I am against the dealth penalty, and would not want to require them to.

Prescrition filling for the "morning after pill" is for some perfectly analagous. Whether in this country or another.
You've actually made my point. These situations are "for some perfectly analogous," meaning that _for others_, and perhaps even the vast majority of others, they are not analogous at all. This is the problem with reasoning (and arguing) by analogy: different people see different aspects of the question and different connections to other issues. While these situations are analogous _to you_ in terms of the particular moral question you prioritize, they are objectively quite different. As IJ Reilly points out, the real question is whether or not a pharmacist has the right to decide what drugs a person should or should not be taking? How would you approach that issue directly?
 

stubeeef

macrumors 68030
Aug 10, 2004
2,702
2
Like the guard, I don't mind the druggest thang if there is one important factor--there must be a backup procedure.

That one pharm should not have been allowed to tear up the presc, there is always a line somewhere, he/she went over it.

Generically (pun intended) I have no problem with the individual not filling it, if there is a procedure in place for it to get filled.
 

wordmunger

macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
5,125
2
North Carolina
This is a stupid tactic on the part of the pro-life druggists; the pro-choice people can say "see--they're not just fighting against abortion, they want to take our birth control away, too"--as was done in this article. It's counterproductive to their cause because it will turn public opinion against them. So I for one hope they keep doing it ;)