Skip to comments.Walgreens Disciplines Pharmacists
Posted on 11/30/2005 7:18:46 PM PST by Tzimisce
(AP) Walgreen Co., the nation's largest drugstore chain by revenue, said it has put four Illinois pharmacists in the St. Louis area on unpaid leave for refusing to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception in violation of a state rule.
The four cited religious or moral objections to filling prescriptions for the morning-after pill and "have said they would like to maintain their right to refuse to dispense, and in Illinois that is not an option," Walgreen spokeswoman Tiffani Bruce said.
A rule imposed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich in April requires Illinois pharmacies that sell contraceptives approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to fill prescriptions for emergency birth control. Pharmacies that do not fill prescriptions for any type of contraception are not required to follow the rule.
Ed Martin, an attorney for the pharmacists, on Tuesday called the discipline "pretty disturbing" and said they would consider legal action if Walgreen doesn't reconsider.
(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...
Please forgive my ignorance... how are they promoting homosexuality and what is their success rate?
A vending machine could do that. A pharmacist is required by law to "inform and counsel" patients on medicines. A pharmacist who cannot in good conscience fill a prescription, must NOT fill the prescription. Have you ever wondered why there are pharmacists when a vending machine for drugs would be much cheaper and would do EXACTLY what YOU think is a pharmacist's job?
No, it couldn't. There are laws governing the dispensing of medicines, and machines are not an approved method.
A pharmacist is required by law to "inform and counsel" patients on medicines. A pharmacist who cannot in good conscience fill a prescription, must NOT fill the prescription.
Actually, informing and counseling is the job of the doctor, who is, after all, the one who has made the diagnosis and is prescribing the drug.
A pharmacist who cannot fill a prescription should start his own pharmacy or go to work in a state that allows these conscience refusals.
Do your job, or find another.
What if the store where you did business hired a pharmacist who felt AIDS was God's way of punishing immoral people and refused to fill prescriptions for AIDS medications?
...And you had a good friend who was a hemophiliac who unfortunately had been infected through a transfusion. Of course the pharmacist knows nothing of these facts, and assumes your friend is a licentious person who deserves all he has coming to him.
Would you defend the pharmacist then?
What if your friend died?
I realize this is an extreme example, but I am surprised anyone would defend pharmacists who are violating the public trust by inserting their own opinions into private medical decisions made by a patient and her doctor. It's inappropriate, in my opinion.
Amen! (whoops! I meant to say "secular agreement to you."
Umm.... If you don't like killing cows, don't work at the stockyards, and if you have a problem dispensing certain drugs, don't be a pharmacist.
My opinion only, but don't you think there is a huge gulf between refusing to hand out a prescription that terminates a life and refusing to hand out a prescription that saves a life? I recognize that distinction and would act accordingly; I assume most pharmacists are capable of the same. Maintaining the "highest principles of moral, ethical, and legal conduct" is part of the oath.
Of course there's a difference. I picked that choice because it was a choice based on religious belief - which to my understanding is the root of this case. It probably wasn't the best choice, and thank you for highlighting its weakness.
I am unfamiliar with the oath pharmacists take, and what the legal significance, if any, that oath has.
But if it is, as you say, to maintain the "highest principles of moral, ethical, and legal conduct," then these pharmacists clearly fail on the third count, which is the only one that is legally testable. The other two are more subjective than the third, but I think a valid argument could be made that illegally interfering with the decision reached by a patient and her physician may not pass the test of "ethical" in a science-based profession such as pharmacy.
Moral, perhaps; but not ethical. And apparently in Illinois not legal. Doesn't sound like a strong position to me.
Regardless, my best friend Beth was raped by this piece of human filth, and she decided to get the "Morning after" pill. I went with her for moral support. She walked right into planned parenthood, told the receptionist what she was there for, she was given a pregnancy test, and the nwas given the pills. At the Planned parenthood office, for $17.00. No prescriptin required.
For refusing to follow the direction of their employer. That's a plan
I tend to agree with this viewpoint. What if it were a PETA nutjob that refused to dispense Premarin because it is made out of horse urine?It appears Walgreens handled the situation well to me.
It's like a Jew getting a job at a pig slaughterhouse and then complaining about the non-kosher environment.
Ummmm... No. Assumably (I do not have the 4 folk's length of tenure at Walgreens at my fingertips), at least one or more of these pharmacists predates the invention of the abortifacient "emergency contraception" (misleading name) pill. Also, your simile presumes that these gents knew that this new rule from Blagoyovich (sp?) would be coming. Since there was an outcry when it happened, I submit that the rule could not have been anticipated.
This case will hopefully end with the rule being invalidated in the courts. I wish that Blagoyovich's political career would also be invalidated.
My wife is a pharmacist. Informing and counseling is, BY LAW, her job...
Umm.... If you don't like killing cows, don't work at the stockyards, and if you have a problem dispensing certain drugs, don't be a pharmacist
Ummm... Are you aware that this is a newer drug? What about all the pharmacists who have been practicing for years before this became available? They never signed on to be part of abortions, and now suddenly they are being forced to against their will! It's obscene and I seriously doubt you want to live in a country where government and employers can come along and force you to do any number of things against your will and conscience or be forced to give up your livelihood.
What would you say in this case: A doctor of 20 years has been working at a clinic or HMO for several years. All of a sudden a new director comes along and says 'All MD's at this clinic must now perform abortions any time a patient requests one.' Are they now just supposed to 'do their job and shut up' as you so caringly feel the pharmacists should?
Does your wife's job include overriding a doctor's prescription for a patient? That is what these pharmacists are doing.
It is not the job of a pharmacist to decide what she will and will not dispense. If she cannot dispense ALL of the medications or drugs that are available at a particular pharmacy chain, then it is up to HER to go to work for someone else who does not dispense those objectionable drugs.
As others have pointed out, what if a PETA-inclined pharmacist declined to dispense drugs that were tested on animals? Should they have that right, and should they have the right to lecture you about animal rights?
I must say that most of these situations are avoidable. First of all, it is well-known that this drug is controversial and some pharmacists have a problem dispensing it. Any doctor worth their salt, in my opinion, will call this into a pharmacy ahead of time to make sure it is in stock and the pharmacist will fill it If there is a problem at the first pharmacy, call another and tell the patient where it will be filled and waiting for them. This eliminates any inconvenience for the patient and avoids others from being put in an uncomfortable situation. Problem solved- no confrontation, and no one has to do something against their beliefs or punished for not doing so. I also think a lot of these 'walk-in' prescriptions for this are set-ups by various groups to 'catch' pharmacists who don't want to fill it and then make a big stink to further their agenda.
Option 2: As an employee of afforementioned company, there is a protocol in place to deal with this. If a pharmacist is presented with a prescription they do not wish to fill on moral grounds, this is the procedure:
DO NOT confront the patient in any way. You are to privately alert the store manager (to act as a third party). They then take the patient discreetly aside and apologize for the inconvenience, but say that the pharmacy is unable to fill their prescription at this time (no need to even give a reason- could just be out of stock for all they know). Then give the patient the choice of waiting until such time as it can be filled (different RPh on duty who has no objections and will call as soon as it is filled) or calling ahead to another pharmacy. Once again, probelm solved with minimal inconvenience and no one having to do something against their will/beliefs. Even this small inconvenience could be avoided if the doctor calls ahead to begin with. (By the way, almost all legitimate prescriptions for this drug are presented on- surprise, surprise!- Saturday or Sunday afternoons.)
Yes. When I receive a paycheck from an employer, I do what he tells me to do. If he tells me to do something immoral, I find another employer.
What is so hard about that?
Some states allow conscience exceptions. Texas is one of those, but, since Texas is a right-to-work state, the employee can still be fired.
A religious belief does not require an employer to accommodate each and every tenet of that belief. A religious belief also, by definition, means that the believer will put that belief above every other consideration.
If your belief demands that you find another position or employer, then find another position or employer.
That said, I think the pharmacy has every right to fire any pharmacist for any reason, including this one.
Gotta keep those abortifacients flowing, eh sinky?
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