Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Conscientious Objection

Now here's an old issue rearing it's ugly head again! And I conscientiously object to its premise.

An AP headline from Vatican City read Pope tells pharmacists to use conscientious objection to avoid selling emergency contraception. We've been through this controversy in this country before with varying results. The Pope has taken it a bit further than the headline indicates. He is quoted as saying "Pharmacists must seek to raise people's awareness so that all human beings are protected from conception to natural death and so that medicines play a truly therapeutic role".

He goes on to say conscientious objector status would "enable them not to collaborate directly or indirectly in supplying products that have clearly immoral purposes such as, for example, abortion or euthanasia."

I could not disagree more. The role of the pharmacist is and should be to dispense, accurately and timely, medications prescribed by physicians. Theirs is not the role of moral arbiter.

As with the Muslim cabbies in Minneapolis who won't take a passenger carrying liquor, that should not be their call. If they personally object to their fares or in the pharmacists case, don't want to dispense the medications as they are charged to do, they should find another profession.

I have a friend who recently exercised Oregon's death with dignity law. There was nothing immoral about her, the way she lived nor the way she chose to die. Nor was there anything immoral about the physician who advised, counseled and comforted her nor the pharmacist who dispensed the drugs.

Anyone who suggests otherwise knows nothing of the situation nor do they have the right to assume they do.

Generalities, even from the Pope, do not fit all nor do they have validity in the world as it is today.


Betty said...

I think that a pharmacist who disagrees with filling a prescription for contraception should let his employer know (assuming he doesn't own the drug store) and let other employees fill the prescriptions. If not, I agree that he/she should find another profession. And, I think Muslim cab drivers should mind their own business.

Word Tosser said...

Maybe the Pope should open up his own pharmacys just for Catholic.
to make decisions for all religions is a little much for me.. The Pope should try to keep his own flock in order without ruling for all others.