Monday, June 16, 2008

What Conscience?

There was a real freaky article in the Washington Post today about so-called "pro-life pharmacies." They're just like regular pharmacies, except they refuse to do everyday pharmacy-type stuff, like fill prescriptions for birth control and emergency contraception and sell condoms. They believe it's in women's best interest to refuse perfectly safe and legal forms of hormonal birth control in order to prevent pregnancy, relieve menstrual cramps, and regulate menstrual cycles. Thanks a bunch! Here's how they neglect their responsibilities:

Pharmacists at eight pro-life drugstores contacted by The Washington Post said they would not actively interfere with a woman trying to fill a prescription elsewhere, but none posts signs announcing restrictions or offers to help women get what they need elsewhere.

"If I don't believe something is right, the last thing I want to do is refer to someone else," said Michael G. Koelzer, who owns Kay Pharmacy in Grand Rapids, Mich. "It's up to that person to be able to find it."

That's contrary to the American Pharmacists Association's Code of Ethics, with guidelines like "A pharmacist promotes the right of self-determination and recognizes individual self-worth by encouraging patients to participate in decisions about their health . . . . In all cases, a pharmacist respects personal and cultural differences among patients" 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." So while one might say they're simply "trying not to leave our faith at the door," they're doing just that to the responsibilities of their profession and, more importantly, the people they're supposed to serve.

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