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(Minneapolis Star Tribune)   Minnesota pharmacist refuses to fill birth-control prescription because she's morally opposed to it   ( divider line
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17744 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 May 2005 at 3:03 PM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2005-05-03 04:57:10 PM  
A rough estimate (on average, certainly for some the drive would be longer) on the amount of time to get to another pharmacy - 20 minutes.
Time lost in old career - 8 years education + X years job experience

I don't think there's any question here. The pharmacists sacrifice is MUCH larger. Its the difference between

"Hey lady, go to a different pharmacy or buy some condoms"
"Hey lady, find an entirely new career path or a new religion"

What if other pharmacies decided to take up this practice? Then the girl may never be able to have it filled. What if another pharmacist decides to decline medication for herpes because she believes the woman should with her sin? You see, this can open up very bad doors with respect to insensitivity to people's diseases or choices.

And also, she knew what she was getting into as a pharmacist. She knew that one day she would have to prescribe something she doesn't like. Too bad. Find another career, but your job is to dispense medication, not make judgement calls. That's the doctor's job.

P.S.: If anyone who's siding with the pharmacist uses condoms or BC, you're a farking hypocrite.
2005-05-03 04:57:23 PM  
I heard one story several years ago about a guy in the LA area that worked at a fast food joint but wouldn't hand out flyers promoting their new double-meaty burger or whatever because it went against his vegetarian principles.

I am a vegetarian myself, and the first question that comes to mind is, what the hell is he doing taking a fast food job in the first place? I am not particularly fond of the sight or smell of dead animal parts, so I just don't work in places that deal with it on a regular basis. End of story.

Farking pharmacist should look into another related art. Like the manufacture of tear gas canisters. So we can toss them into crowds of Christian fascist nutjobs.
2005-05-03 04:57:45 PM  
I know this is late, but I just read this for the first time -
did but me find it rediculous that the article references 'christian legal groups' taking action against the gov. of illinois? Did our forefathers not fight to make the term 'christian legal group' an oxymoron in the US? How can they accuse the governer of a 'violation of law' when they are violating one of the most fundamental laws of this country? The biggest arguments of the christian fundamentalists on this thread have sounded like "Because I believe X and my customer believes Y (in a free country) I have the right to withhold drugs that the customer is allowed by law and is paying me for because I believe X."

2005-05-03 04:58:11 PM  
if a guy behind the counter at mcdonalds has a moral objection to selling hot apple pies, that's great. he shouldn't sell hot apple pies.

he should, however, find a different job.
2005-05-03 04:58:12 PM  

What if the lady was a member of PETA and refused to give people prescriptions because the medicine was devloped by testing on animals? Would that bee ok?

I would say yes it is okay. That doesn't mean she'll get or keep a job doing it considering she basically couldn't sell anything.
2005-05-03 04:58:17 PM  
I say: more power to this pharmacist. They should also have the right to decide if they give out Prozac to depressed people (since depression is a personal failing, not a disease), or if they give out insulin to diabetics (since diabetes is caused by being overweight, which was a personal decision). Maybe they should deny prescriptions for amoxicillin and other antibiotics, too -- after all, if the patient had practiced safe health practices to begin with, they wouldn't have gotten the infection. In fact, I'm surprised the pharmacists actually filled my prescriptions for Vicodin after I broke my wrist last fall and had to have surgery.

Besides, this is the same state that's banning Sudafed because it can be made into meth.
2005-05-03 04:58:18 PM  
stripped of her ability to ever earn a living in the field that she has educated herself in? i think that's a little much.

Well, if her beliefs stay the same, what's to keep her from doing this again and again?
2005-05-03 04:58:22 PM  
2005-05-03 04:56:48 PM altinos

Nope, I would fire her on the spot, she opened the pharmacy up to some serious liability, not to mention the vigilantes. And her license should definately be revoked.
2005-05-03 04:58:33 PM  
Oh, forgot to mention - Gloria Allred defended him against the fast food chain. I can't remember what the outcome was.
2005-05-03 04:58:34 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2005-05-03 04:58:54 PM  

Finally, a voice of reason.
2005-05-03 04:59:05 PM  
trueaustinite:pharmacists are disciplined and barred from practive for things like DISPENSING THE WRONG MEDS and KILLING someone.

Or for failing to fulfill the duties of their job and breaking pharmaceutical ethics to accurately fill and dispense prescriptions administered by a medical doctor.
2005-05-03 04:59:28 PM  

50X stronger!!!!! Wow. Just wow. I know most of you are men here, but bc (all that estrogen) can really make a woman crazy. I know from experience. Youre a good man, arkhan.

Props to your wife ;-)
2005-05-03 04:59:36 PM  
The thing that bothers me is we haven't heard anything of a pharmacist refusing to fill a Viagra prescrption. Until I hear that I'll just assume they are hypocritic media whores.
2005-05-03 05:00:16 PM  
stripped of her ability to ever earn a living in the field that she has educated herself in? i think that's a little much.

She can move to another state and apply for a pharmacist license in that state, can't she?

One that might be more receptive to her personal belief system?
2005-05-03 05:02:11 PM  
So we are going to let those who work in such areas where they have to do things according to rules simply make up their own as they see fit? She had a job, if she can't do that job for moral reasons she should find a different job since what she is being asked to do is totally legal.
2005-05-03 05:02:26 PM  
Major Thomb
Morals are your core values and ethics are specific rules you follow based on those morals. Morals can't get in the way of ethics because they determine the meaning of those rules.

I need to address this directly. The definition of a professional code of ethics is NOT determined by the sole professional's own morals, professional codes of ethics are defined by the whatever body creates and enacts them. For example, when I enter practice in a few years with my license my actions will NOT be judged by my own morals (or ethics!), they will be judged by what the state Supreme Court, American Bar Association, and state Bar Association defines to be ethical behavor as an attorney.
2005-05-03 05:02:27 PM  
Lord Loki:

The thing that bothers me is we haven't heard anything of a pharmacist refusing to fill a Viagra prescrption. Until I hear that I'll just assume they are hypocritic media whores.

Why do people always try to equate viagra and birth control, especially when talking about what insurance should cover? They're don't do even remotely the same thing.
2005-05-03 05:02:37 PM  
PETA members have no right to work on farms and then refuse to mild cows.

Hey, you cows. You're getting all interesting and excited. Y'al just chill out a bit now, y'hear? We're gonna play some Perry Como later.
2005-05-03 05:02:38 PM  
I guess it simply comes down to this:

Is it right to legally force pharmacists into additional codes of conduct? Is it wrong to deny service to someone not based on race, not based on religion but based on something as unfundamental to human rights as in what manner they would prefer to not get pregnant?

If this law was passed nationally, and the church came out against it, it would basically amount to a law forbidding Catholics from being pharmacists. And no, this is not the same as a Jewish person working at a non-kosher deli. He can open a Kosher deli if he wants, and he's perfectly allowed to sell or NOT sell non-kosher products. With this law, a pharmacist could not legally open a "Catholic" pharmacy. She would be FORCED to sell BC to whoever had a prescription. I don't think a Kosher Deli should be forced to sell me pork, and I don't think a pharmacist should be forced to sell me birth control.

-Signing off
2005-05-03 05:02:53 PM  
2005-05-03 03:30:28 PM Hang On Voltaire
Exactly. The Jewish waiter can quit. The Rx here can quit. But if the restraunt has no problem with the Jewish waiter refusing to handle pork then it is none of your farking business and you can refuse to eat there

I think you're missing the point. This legislation is to protect the pharmacist from being fired for not doing their job. If the restaurant has a problem with the Jewish waiter not wanting to serve food, it's too bad. The waiter's job will be protected. Get it?

I've already written my representatives about this, lest anyone else get any wild ideas. Have you guys?
2005-05-03 05:02:58 PM  
hey gang, you know why cutty pastey is fun? because you can TOTALLY IGNORE one part of what someone says and just respond to some other part, that's completely out of context.


i'm an idiot on this issue?

having represented medical and pseudo-medical professionals in front of ethics review boards, i think you may be in a little over your head.

but, by all means, continue.
2005-05-03 05:03:18 PM  
Dumb biatch should have picked another career if she has such judgmental moral beliefs, it's that simple.
2005-05-03 05:03:19 PM  
I dunno why, but I got a big lauph out of that. Thanks :-)

Hey, no problem!


Congratulations! You win the Biggest Asshole of the Thread award. Especially considering the numerous women who have posted about needing birth control in order to function normally. But, I'm sure you have some neanderthal opinion about that as well.
2005-05-03 05:03:44 PM  
trueaustinite: fired and taught a lesson? yes. stripped of her ability to ever earn a living in the field that she has educated herself in? i think that's a little much.

The field that she "educated" herself in is a field that has many new and controversial medications that she obviously has a problem with. She has no right to intervene in the dispensation of a medicine prescribed by a doctor. It is her responsibility to accurately dispense any medication that is prescribed. If she has a problem with that, then she should NOT be a pharmacist.

Yes, it is too bad that she spent all of that time in training and getting her license, but it is HER fault for not understanding the full expectations that would be placed upon her once hired as a pharmacist.
2005-05-03 05:04:39 PM  
I got the pill when I was 18, for the first time. It wasn't even for birth control. As stated before there are LOTS of women who take the pill for other health reasons, and it's not stated on the prescription why the woman is getting it. Women need to have a regulated monthly cycle...and that's what the pill provides. It also helps to ease the pain and severity of bleeding.

How dare a pharmacist (or anyone else) make tha determination that it's sole purpose is for sex and jump to conclusions.

They never should have gone into that field if they had a moral issue against birth control.

This just pisses me off.
2005-05-03 05:05:08 PM  

Here's a similar situation though, there's kosher observant Jews who work at places like Burger King and Applebee's. Where they have to handle cheeseburgers, give people milk with their burgers and other violations of kosher. But they don't say anything because they're the ones who took the job knowing full well what is involved. Also they wouldn't in a million years put their religious principles over on someone else.

Bad example. Kosher laws apply only to those who observe them (slightly circular definition). A kosher eater would have no problem serving a non-kosher eater non-kosher food. Especially if the latter were not Jewish. In any case, orthodox Jews would avoid working in such places, but I digress.

W.r.t that pharmacist: doctors have a code of ethics, which translates both into AMA regiulatiions, and State & Federal laws. Don't pharmacists have something akin to that? Any pill pushing farkers out there?
2005-05-03 05:05:13 PM  

"This thread also shows who the men and women are. Men ignore idiots. Women complain and want everyone to exert pressure to get them to change."

Your post also shows that YOU are a man, and don't think highly of women.
2005-05-03 05:05:28 PM  
You are wrong, sir, and this is the fundamental reason why pharmacists must not be permitted to make medical decisions on a patient's behalf. The reason in a word: ignorance.

The pharmacist, sometimes well-trained but often not, says your line quoted above, adds that the woman is unclean in God's eyes, and sends her packing. Per your statement, let's assume it will take a few days to get the medicine somewhere else. (Hick town, whatever.)

Result? Woman dies.

Stupid, right? Making stuff up, right? Wrong.

"The woman" is my fiancee. She has taken a form of birth control since she was fifteen. Her pills are 50x stronger than what is necessary to prevent pregnancy. For many years after starting to take the pills, she was a virgin with no intent to have sex.

The phrases you don't know are endometriosis and endometrial hyperplasia.

Let me break it down for you:

Endometriosis occurs when tissue like that which lines the uterus is found outside the uterus -- usually in the abdomen on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and ligaments that support the uterus.

This misplaced tissue develops into growths or lesions which respond to the menstrual cycle in the same way that the tissue of the uterine lining does: each month the tissue builds up, breaks down, and sheds. Menstrual blood flows from the uterus and out of the body through the vagina, but the blood and tissue shed from endometrial growths has no way of leaving the body. This results in internal bleeding, breakdown of the blood and tissue from the lesions, and inflammation.

Endometrial hyperplasia is an abnormal thickening of the uterine lining (endometrium) that causes heavy vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain.

Add severe, chronic cases of those two things together, and what do you get? You have a period, and you bleed, and you keep bleeding, and you keep bleeding, because this now has nothing to do with menstruation, this is just fresh blood coming from torn uterine lining and anywhere else you have endometriosis, and you just keep bleeding, internally and vaginally, and it does not stop.

My fiancee's first "period" lasted six months and her second nearly killed her in four days. It would have killed her if she hadn't been driven 2.5 hours to the nearest emergency room. Why? Pure, simple blood loss. That's how heavy the bleeding was.

What's the solution? Estrogen. Lots of it. That means a strong birth control pill -- much stronger than what you'd take for contraception. The "birth control" pills she takes regulate the flow of estrogen in her body in such a way that she now has "heavy" periods instead of "bleed to death" periods.

Guess what? Her small-town, leader-of-the-local-church old-lady pharmacist refused to dispense the medicine. She finally relented after having the condition carefully explained to her, then commenced rumor-mongering and reputation-bashing my fiancee's family, because they had a slut for a daughter. She was taking birth control! Terrible! Scandalous! The nice old lady made sure everyone at her high school knew, everyone at her church knew, eventually everyone in town knew she was a horrible, home-wrecking, Satan-worshipping, immoral, wanton slut of a girl who should be shunned from all polite society, all because she was born with a frigging medical condition that HAPPENS to require estrogen to treat it.

That girl (now that woman) was literally lucky to escape from that town alive.

Ignorant, self-righteous, redneck bastards.

This thread is over. You win. I don't anyone can argue with this. If they do, they are stupid to listen too.

/golf clap
2005-05-03 05:05:35 PM  
Major Thomb:

2005-05-03 04:53:22 PM Major Thomb

BillCosby: What does that mean?

Just what it says. Morals are your core values and ethics are specific rules you follow based on those morals. Morals can't get in the way of ethics because they determine the meaning of those rules.

For example the pharmacists code of ethics say they must work for the well being of the patient. Now think about that one in the context of believing birth control is okay and then in the context of it being wrong.

The pharmicist's code of ethics dictate:

I. A pharmacist respects the covenantal relationship between the patient and pharmacist.

II. A pharmacist promotes the good of every patient in a caring, compassionate, and confidential manner.

III. A pharmacist respects the autonomy and dignity of each patient.

A pharmacist promotes the right of self-determination and recognizes individual self-worth by encouraging patients to participate in decisions about their health. A pharmacist communicates with patients in terms that are understandable. In all cases, a pharmacist respects personal and cultural differences among patients.

IV. A pharmacist acts with honesty and integrity in professional relationships.

A pharmacist has a duty to tell the truth and to act with conviction of conscience. A pharmacist avoids discriminatory practices, behavior or work conditions that impair professional judgment, and actions that compromise dedication to the best interests of patients.

V. A pharmacist maintains professional competence.

VI. A pharmacist respects the values and abilities of colleagues and other health professionals.

When appropriate, a pharmacist asks for the consultation of colleagues or other health professionals or refers the patient. A pharmacist acknowledges that colleagues and other health professionals may differ in the beliefs and values they apply to the care of the patient.

VII. A pharmacist serves individual, community, and societal needs.

VIII. A pharmacist seeks justice in the distribution of health resources.

Those ethics dictate that the pharmicist should have fulfilled the patient's prescription. Exactly which code violates morality?
2005-05-03 05:05:54 PM  

wow. did you really say that?

pharmacists are disciplined and barred from practive for things like DISPENSING THE WRONG MEDS and KILLING someone.

I'm not sure I understand your point. Are you inferring that refusing to dispense because of her moral beliefs is not in fact the biggest mistake, second only to wrongfully killing someone?
2005-05-03 05:05:59 PM  

The rebuttals made to them by normal farkers who have wives and SOs, most likely on birth control, and would probably be verbotten of nookie without it, are perfectly fine without us pouncing on the backs of said wierdos, claws unsheathed.

And then some normal farker with an SO on birth control for medical reasons comes along and screws the whole thing up, because he's a bit touchy about how said SO was treated, and HE pounces on the backs of the weirdos, claws unsheathed. (See my above post.)

Didn't realize we were trying to exercise restraint today. Not much of a fark tradition, I'm afraid. ;)
2005-05-03 05:06:11 PM  
When is the federal government going to mandate bone crushing abortions for all, and a national murder day once every year (where every single citizen is not just allowed, but ordered to kill one other citizen of their choice). It is the only way I can see to solve all of our problems here in America.
2005-05-03 05:06:15 PM  

Your fiance is a very lucky woman, and very strong too, to put up with the close minded idiots who think of BC, as just that.

I wish it were called something different seeing as how I and most women and I know DON'T take to whore around. We take it b/c of usually painful menstruation, or for ovarian cysts, which seem to me to be the most painful thing I've ever seen (watching your childhood friend writhe in pain for several hours is not fun).
2005-05-03 05:06:24 PM  

I need to address this directly. The definition of a professional code of ethics is NOT determined by the sole professional's own morals, professional codes of ethics are defined by the whatever body creates and enacts them.

There's no code of ethics that covers all the bases. You will have to use your moral base to intepret the code to see how to apply it to some situations.
2005-05-03 05:06:29 PM  
The thing that bothers me is we haven't heard anything of a pharmacist refusing to fill a Viagra prescrption.

Of course not. Erections are necessary for makin' natural babies.
2005-05-03 05:06:50 PM  
If I was a pharmacist, I would deny all prescriptions to old people because I'm morally opposed to keeping Republican voters alive longer than Allah intended.
2005-05-03 05:07:03 PM  

If I was a pharmacist and a woman asked me for birth conrol, I would tell her to keep her legs closed.

What would you tell a man who came in for a viagra Rx?
2005-05-03 05:07:18 PM  

pharmacists suffer far less serious consequences for actually causing injury to a person all the time.

but she should be stripped of her license?


but could it be that your emotions about the broader issue coupled with your disdain for her beliefs are coloring your view?

i think the woman is a moran. i'm just able to see the issue objectively.
2005-05-03 05:07:50 PM  
Action Replay Nick

Whoa there o' defender of the weaker sex! Sometimes even women have senses of humor.
2005-05-03 05:08:33 PM  
unfundamental to human rights as in what manner they would prefer to not get pregnant

Bzzzt. This is where your argument falls down. 1) Medicine in general is quite key to human rights as the lack of it often times means you are no longer human, i.e. dead; 2) methods of birth control and the right to have them have been recognized as a fundamental right for a long time (see Griswold v. Connecticut) now. Compare this with having to take a box of pills our of a big box and put them in a little box because that is your job.

Hardly a comparison.
2005-05-03 05:08:36 PM  
Hypothetical, yet plausible:

Ok, I go to the pharmacist for RU-40 (whatever the morning-after pill is named). He refuses to fill my Rx. The pill has to be taken within 24 hours of suspected fertilisation.

I sue for child support for the child I was forced to deliver.

If it's a boy I'm naming it Walgreens.
2005-05-03 05:08:39 PM  
That pharmacist needs to take their "morals" and shove them up their high falutin uninformed judgemental ass.
2005-05-03 05:09:35 PM  
Wow, I'd like to see what will happen with prescriptions for RU-486.
2005-05-03 05:09:51 PM  
Oustanding, BillCosby, outstanding. With that, I doubt anyone else has much of a leg to stand on about this pharmacist intergecting her morals above the responsibilities related to her job.
2005-05-03 05:10:38 PM  
Renowned transvestite sexologist:

There is no excused for taking a job you are morally opposed to and I will have no sympathy for you when you get bit in the ass for you unwise and irresponsible decision.


Bottomline, IMO, the pharmacist has a job to do. Their employer pays them to dispense medication to qualified recipients. The employer does not pay the pharmacist to make decisions and/or be judgemental in any way shape or form. The only way I could see this being "legit" is if the pharmacist had some information to indicate the woman should not have birth control (mental, physical, etc etc). Obviously not a whole lot of lead way there.

Lots of people have jobs they disagree with. Let's say, for instance, you work for a Government contractor. Said contractor picks up a task for the Government that involves "National Defense" in some shape or form. As an employee, if you objected to working for the contractor because of their ties to defense and the things that go along with that (war, death, destruction, etc etc) you would be let go. You might not get fired, you'd probably be given the option of quitting.

The main problem I have here is that this woman is gainfully employed by somebody. That somebody has tasked her with being a pharmacist. Being a pharmacist involves dispenses drugs and medication. If you are unable to dispense drugs or medication because of your religious belief(s) then you should not be a pharamacist. Similarly, if you do not support "National Defense" you should probably stay away from Government Contractors...

makey sense? Liberal/Conservative aside, it's about a job. It's about living up to the responsibilities you signed up for. It's about not passing judgement on SOMEONE YOU DON'T KNOW. It's about understanding that the world is BIG, real damn big. No matter what you think is *moral* or *correct* or even *right* you should understand that tomorrow, on the other side of the planet, your opinion means zilch. You can not, and should not go through life with blinders on. Open your eyes and open your mind.

What gives this pharmacist the right to refuse service? Is there a sign hanging up outside the pharamcy that says, "we reserve the right to refuse to service to anyone"? Better yet, do they have a sign that reads, "we reserve the right to be complete jacka$$es whenever we damn well please"???

2005-05-03 05:11:02 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2005-05-03 05:11:02 PM  

I'm not sure I understand your point. Are you inferring that refusing to dispense because of her moral beliefs is not in fact the biggest mistake, second only to wrongfully killing someone?

nope. i'm SAYING it.

pharmacists are discplined routinely for things like: dispensing without a script, stealing addictive substances, abusing addictive substances, misfilling that causes injury.

i'm saying that ANY one of the above is a bigger mistake than what this woman did.

seriously, can you see this issue outside of your contempt for her beliefs?
2005-05-03 05:11:29 PM  

Well with the argument that's going on, I have no way of knowing. Of course, if it was just a joke I would apologize for being a meanie on the internet. :)
2005-05-03 05:11:46 PM  
I'm morally opposed to hoilier-than-thou white trash that tells my wife and I how many kids to have and when to have them. Stay the fcuk out of my life and do your fcuking job.
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