Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"Moral" Pharmacists

Just so you know that it isn't restricted to out-of-the-way pharmacies in states nobody ever heard of and couldn't care less about, I just learned that the pharmacists in my own state of Washington are starting to make noises about not filling prescriptions for medications that they personally disagree with "morally".

The medication in question is, of course, the so-called "morning after" pill, which several pharmacists around the country have made the news recently by refusing to dispense, under the completely nonsensical notion that it is "just the same" as an abortion.

Bullshit. If you are a pharmacist whose religious beliefs won't allow you to fill a prescription for legal medication as ordered by a licensed doctor, then you need to be in another line of work. It isn't your place to pass judgment on me or my family over what kind of medication we take. Your job is to not only fill the prescription but more importantly make sure that the doctor didn't fuck up when he prescribed it. That's why you have to go to school and be licensed. You are not licensed to tell me that something prescribed by my doctor is "morally" wrong.

This ordinarily will not become an issue in the cities and large towns since consumers can vote with their feet, but in many small towns in this state and across the nation, there is only one pharmacy and one pharmacist. It should not be his/her "choice" whether to dispense a legally prescribed and medically valid prescription.

Like I say, if you don't feel that you can perform your job due to a threat to your "morals", it's your duty to get another job that will not conflict with your religious beliefs. And if you quit your job for this reason, you can always get Unemployment Insurance for 26 weeks while you try to "find" yourself and maybe wonder if that wasn't such a great idea after all to just up and quit.

But that simple solution won't fly with religious assholes. They want to cram their morality down our throats or (in the case of a pharmaceutically religious suppository) up our asses.

Jesus, protect me from your followers.

10 Comments:

Puma said...

Ayyy-men.

merlallen said...

I don't think they can get away with that in Washington.

moderate said...

they love us and just want what's best for us...just ask 'em

moderate said...

...and thanks for the link, bro...

Granny said...

This is just wrong on so many levels, I don't know where to begin. So as puma and the choir said, amen.

Gus, it you had told me even a few years ago "they won't get away with that" in my California, I would have agreed. We narrowly defeated parental notification last year only because of the backlash against the Terminator.

We might not stay that lucky. I hope Washington does.

HMC LAVADOGS said...

Hey Farnsworth you are in the PINK (my HERE COMES MR. JORDAN REFERENCE) on that one. I agree wholeheartedly. If they can not do their jobs, go find another one. CVS and Rite Aid pharmacies have a good policy. My wife (NOLAWITCH) gave HELL to Walgreens for their biased policy. Right on Farnsworth, I always find this site informative. Have a good one, later...

NOLAWitch said...

Yeah, Walgreens is one of the bad pharmacies that support their employees' "moral" issues over their customers' needs. Unfortunately, the list includes Wal*Mart and Target pharmacies as well. I wrote a scathing email to Walgreens on account of it and yanked all my prescription business and very nearly everything else from there too. What really sucks is that there is a Walgreens only three blocks from our home, but I refuse to spend money there and support them. I drive several miles away to Rite Aid or CVS for what I need.

When I was casting about for an acceptable pharmacy, I had emailed every pharmacy with a local outlet I could. I actually got a phone call from the regional manager of Rite Aid who told me to call him if I heard of any pharmacists in his chain refusing to fill prescriptions. He said it was a firing offense as far as he was concerned. I'll spend all my money there. Vote with your feet and your wallets.

I'm so glad I have as wonderful and liberal a husband as HMCLavaDogs.

drainbamage said...

Da bastards should be tossed in jail (In Iraq) ! They do not have the right to decide.
OMG, like pushing pills from one container into a smaller container is a GODAMN moral decision. What about all the drugs against god they fucking push now? Sports drugs and shit...

Elizabeth Green said...

This is a great blog, Farnsworth. As someone who works in the pharmaceutical industry, I found it particulary apporpriate. I know some pharmacists who won't dispense Depo-Provera contraceptive shots because they think it's equivalent to abortion, too. To me, dispensing is not equal to doing something morally wrong. The patient, along with his or her doctor, is the one who makes that choice. If there is a moral responsibility to bear, it belongs with them. Personally, I think it's worse to have children that you can't or won't care for than it is to recognize that you aren't ready or fit to be a parent. But, these right wing types don't see the distinction. They just want to force people to have babies they can't take care of. Then they want to bitch about too many people being on welfare.

As for pharmacists, they don't need to worry about 26 weeks of unemployment. The demand for RPh's and PharmD's far outweighs the supply. A pharmacist could quit his/her job at Walgreen's this morning and have a new one this afternoon. Not a problem there, which gives those who can't deal with it even more reason to go practice in a hospital or some sort of closed setting.

What the righties don't know is that the morning after pill is no new thing. You can also use some brands of basic birth control pills to do the same thing. You have to have special directions, though, just the regular once daily won't do it, and it only works for certain types of BC pills. This I can't reveal or I WOULD be violating ethics, but my point is, what is the right going to do? Make BC pills illegal, too? Somehow I don't see that happening.

I firmly believe those in pharmacy should keep their moral convictions to themselves. Practice should be limited to things of a clinical nature and medicinal questions, not to making moral judgments on the patient. The patient has access to that through spirtual/psychological counseling.

BTW, Farnsworth, in a site filled with great blogs, I think this is one of your best. I absolutely LOVED the last two paragraphs. Thanks for posting on such a thought provoking topic. Sorry about getting on my soapbox. It's just that this is my life's work, so I get sort of involved.

Farnsworth said...

Thank you, Elizabeth, for this most thought-provoking insider's look at this terribly important issue.
And BTW thanks also for being such a loyal supporter and commenter.
The F-Man