White coats don’t make you God

By By Anne Looser

By Anne Looser

Mississippi, Washington and Rhode Island enacted laws allowing pharmacists the right to deny women their birth control based on moral or religious biases.

The American Pharmaceutical Association agreed on adopting a policy allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill a prescription based on moral or religious beliefs.

State statutes and the APA do, however, require druggists refusing to fill prescriptions to send the prescription to another who will fill it.

Unfortunately, and illegally, some druggists won’t send the prescription to another pharmacist (“Druggists refuse to give out the pill” USA Today, Nov. 8).

Julee Lacy, of Fort Worth, Texas, found herself in a predicament when this happened to her. She went to fill her birth control prescription, only to have the pharmacist refuse based on personal moral biases.

In fact, he kept the prescription, which meant she had to wait until her doctor could write her a new one the next day. She missed a pill.

I don’t know which is more offensive-the fact that the druggist could have harmed Lacy’s health or that the druggist pushed his moral biases on Lacy.

The druggist had no knowledge as to why Lacy’s doctor prescribed her birth control. It could have been for a serious medical need beyond preventing an unwanted pregnancy.

For all the druggist knew, Lacy needed the pills for endometriosis, heavy or abnormal periods, or any of the other medial purposes for which birth control is used.

It is not the place of a druggist to decide if the dispensed drug is “right” or “wrong” for the patient.

Lacy’s health may have been in danger if she had not received the drug. The prescribing doctor and the patient decided on the medication well before the prescription reached the counter.

Some of the first American colonists left England because they didn’t want to worship as the English Crown said they must.

The foundations of our country lie in the ideals of worshipping as we choose, not as professionals or authorities, such as pharmacists, tell us.

Our country and the foundations of our society are threatened when one group tries to force their religious and moral bias onto another.

Imagine what would happen if teachers, another set of professionals charged with working for the public good, refused to teach certain “kinds” of children.

Gloria Felt, president of the Planned Parenthood Association of America fears that “…the battles about abortion were just the tip of a larger ideological iceberg, and that it’s really birth control they’re after…”

But I fear something much worse. I fear that the very foundation of our society is at risk when we allow professionals, such as pharmacists, to punch holes in the foundation by pushing their morals on others.

Do we allow teachers to teach only the “good” kids? No, we don’t, because we recognize that the foundation of our society is built by having an educated populace.

In the same way we expect teachers to teach all the children in their classes, we should expect pharmacists to dispense all drugs prescribed by a licensed physician.

If you become a pharmacist, you have to know you may be asked to dispense birth control.

If you don’t want to, then I suggest you find another line of work.

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