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  1. #1
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    Pharmacists and Birth Control

    According to an April 14 CNN.com article, House and Senate backers have unveiled a bill dubbed the Access to Legal Pharmaceuticals Act (ALPhA), which would allow a pharmacist to refuse to fill a prescription only if the prescription can be passed to and filled by a co-worker at the same pharmacy. The article goes on to say that according to NARAL Pro-Choice America, a reproductive rights group, legislators in 10 states are considering bills that would permit pharmacists to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions. The article also says that a federal law, if passed, would pre-empt any state law. I don't know what legislators in the 10 States are considering, but my guess is the federal bill is trying to take the middle ground on this issue.

    Will such laws for pharmacists encourage workers in other occupations to demand employment rights consistent with their ethical or religious beliefs?

  2. #2
    Forum Regular karl k's Avatar
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    It's already happened!

    Quote Originally Posted by mystic
    According to an April 14 CNN.com article, House and Senate backers have unveiled a bill dubbed the Access to Legal Pharmaceuticals Act (ALPhA), which would allow a pharmacist to refuse to fill a prescription only if the prescription can be passed to and filled by a co-worker at the same pharmacy. The article goes on to say that according to NARAL Pro-Choice America, a reproductive rights group, legislators in 10 states are considering bills that would permit pharmacists to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions. The article also says that a federal law, if passed, would pre-empt any state law. I don't know what legislators in the 10 States are considering, but my guess is the federal bill is trying to take the middle ground on this issue.

    Will such laws for pharmacists encourage workers in other occupations to demand employment rights consistent with their ethical or religious beliefs?
    Doctors that won't perform abortions, Walmart won't sell certain CD's or DVD's because of content, "no shoes, no shirt, no service", first network content was/is under attack, now cable/sat content is too racey! I remember when the "Last Temptation of Christ was removed from cable broadcast on Cablevision systems!

    Pharmacists didn't start it... and I'm sure they won't be the end of it either.

    I think Bill Maher said it best in the "New Rules" a couple weeks ago...

    And finally, New Rule: Pharmacists have to fill prescriptions. As our audience seems to already know, more and more American pharmacists are refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control because of their personal moral objections. Hey, you know what would really teach us a lesson? If you took off your pretend doctor jacket and got another job.

    Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe cutting off the pill doesn't even go far enough. Yeah, it's high time activist drugstores stopped coddling sluts on every aisle. Let's not sell any more makeup either. A good woman doesn't paint herself. And no more deodorant. You should smell bad. Keep the boys from getting ideas. And no suntan lotion. I've seen what happens at the MTV Beach House, you whore. You want to avoid melanoma, buy a veil.

    Why is this country becoming Utah?! You know, I know the conservatives are always saying that the coastal elites don't really get it about them because we just fly over. Okay, maybe. But, you know what? You guys don't get us either. We need to f**k. Refusal to provide birth control threatens our economy and our very way of life here in Southern California. There's a lot of hot chicks out here, man. We need birth control! I mean, seriously, how do you think movies get made?

    Now, of course, I know the other side is saying, yes, but this is a moral issue. Yeah, but the problem is, not everyone gets their morals from the same book. You go by the book that says slavery is okay but sex is wrong until after marriage, at which point it becomes a blessed sacrament between a husband and the wife who is withholding it.

    In conclusion, let me say to all the activist pharmacists out there, the ones who think sex is bad probably because sex with them always is. Fellas, a pharmacist is not a law-giver, not even a doctor. In the medical pecking order, you rank somewhere in between a chiropractor and a tree surgeon.

    You don't answer to a law above the laws of men. You work for Sav-On. The doctors are the ones who make medical decisions because they went to medical school, whereas you were transferred from the counter where people drop off film.

    My addition...

    Leave the private decisions between a Dr and their patient to those who can respect that privacy... unconditionally.
    Karl K.

    The shortest distance between two points is a straight line... in the opposite direction.

  3. #3
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karl k
    Doctors that won't perform abortions, Walmart won't sell certain CD's or DVD's because of content, "no shoes, no shirt, no service", first network content was/is under attack, now cable/sat content is too racey! I remember when the "Last Temptation of Christ was removed from cable broadcast on Cablevision systems!

    Pharmacists didn't start it... and I'm sure they won't be the end of it either.

    I think Bill Maher said it best in the "New Rules" a couple weeks ago...

    And finally, New Rule: Pharmacists have to fill prescriptions. As our audience seems to already know, more and more American pharmacists are refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control because of their personal moral objections. Hey, you know what would really teach us a lesson? If you took off your pretend doctor jacket and got another job.

    Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe cutting off the pill doesn't even go far enough. Yeah, it's high time activist drugstores stopped coddling sluts on every aisle. Let's not sell any more makeup either. A good woman doesn't paint herself. And no more deodorant. You should smell bad. Keep the boys from getting ideas. And no suntan lotion. I've seen what happens at the MTV Beach House, you whore. You want to avoid melanoma, buy a veil.

    Why is this country becoming Utah?! You know, I know the conservatives are always saying that the coastal elites don't really get it about them because we just fly over. Okay, maybe. But, you know what? You guys don't get us either. We need to f**k. Refusal to provide birth control threatens our economy and our very way of life here in Southern California. There's a lot of hot chicks out here, man. We need birth control! I mean, seriously, how do you think movies get made?

    Now, of course, I know the other side is saying, yes, but this is a moral issue. Yeah, but the problem is, not everyone gets their morals from the same book. You go by the book that says slavery is okay but sex is wrong until after marriage, at which point it becomes a blessed sacrament between a husband and the wife who is withholding it.

    In conclusion, let me say to all the activist pharmacists out there, the ones who think sex is bad probably because sex with them always is. Fellas, a pharmacist is not a law-giver, not even a doctor. In the medical pecking order, you rank somewhere in between a chiropractor and a tree surgeon.

    You don't answer to a law above the laws of men. You work for Sav-On. The doctors are the ones who make medical decisions because they went to medical school, whereas you were transferred from the counter where people drop off film.

    My addition...

    Leave the private decisions between a Dr and their patient to those who can respect that privacy... unconditionally.
    Well said by both Bill and Karl!!!
    People need to get their own affairs in order before imposing their beliefs on others.
    Besides, have you seen some of the people procreating these days? Do we really want to limit access to birth-control?

  4. #4
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    And thats the root of our problems, imposing their beliefs on others. When someone does that,it makes me even more against their beliefs.
    Look & Listen

  5. #5
    What, me worry? piece-it pete's Avatar
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    So, a Doctor disagrees with you on abortion , won't do it, but because YOU think it's ok you'll throw him in jail?

    A pharmacist disagrees about whatever, you don't go to another like-minded one, you have them fired? Land of the free indeed.

    It sounds to me like you'all are forcing YOUR beliefs on THEM.

    Pete
    I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
    Abraham Lincoln

  6. #6
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    So, a Doctor disagrees with you on abortion , won't do it, but because YOU think it's ok you'll throw him in jail?

    A pharmacist disagrees about whatever, you don't go to another like-minded one, you have them fired? Land of the free indeed.

    It sounds to me like you'all are forcing YOUR beliefs on THEM.

    Pete
    Good luck with this illogic. No one, at no time has threatened to jail a pharmacist or doctor for NOT performing their job. No where in that dynamic is one side forcing a belief on another side. But conervatives HAVE threatened jail for doctors who perform certain kinds of abortions, for instance. Get your facts straight and learn to how to critically analyze rhetoric before you offfer us an thoughtless, kneejerk reaction.

    Firing a pharmacist who refused to do his or her job is consistent with the land of the free, my cliche-ridden friend. No one, let me say this louder for the rhetorically deaf, NO ONE is entitled to their chosen job, whether in a free nation or in an unfree nation. A pharmacist, much like any service oriented retail job, when accepting his/her position, agrees to serve the public. No individual can selectively choose which portions of the public they serve. Either you serve the public or you don't; there is no inbetween (and please don't point out irrelevant exceptions of violent or disruptive customers). If the pharmacist, or plumber for that matter, cannot serve the entire public due to personal convictions, however rational or irrational they may be, should find another profession whereby their personal convictions are not in conflict with making a living.

  7. #7
    What, me worry? piece-it pete's Avatar
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    Paul,

    Good afternoon .

    Thoughtless? Kneejerk?

    What good is a law requiring them to do something with no punishment? What do you suggest?

    And an owner or company can serve or refuse to serve as they see fit, outside of race, religion, etc. They DO NOT have to serve the entire public.

    Speaking of race & religion, any punishment of this infraction (including firing) would be unConstitutional - we still have freedom of religion, as of yet. That means:

    "If the pharmacist, or plumber for that matter, cannot serve the entire public due to personal convictions, however rational or irrational they may be, should find another profession whereby their personal convictions are not in conflict with making a living."

    is not only incorrect but in fact the opposite of reality.

    Pete
    I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
    Abraham Lincoln

  8. #8
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    Paul,

    Good afternoon .

    Thoughtless? Kneejerk?

    What good is a law requiring them to do something with no punishment? What do you suggest?

    And an owner or company can serve or refuse to serve as they see fit, outside of race, religion, etc. They DO NOT have to serve the entire public.

    Speaking of race & religion, any punishment of this infraction (including firing) would be unConstitutional - we still have freedom of religion, as of yet. That means:

    "If the pharmacist, or plumber for that matter, cannot serve the entire public due to personal convictions, however rational or irrational they may be, should find another profession whereby their personal convictions are not in conflict with making a living."

    is not only incorrect but in fact the opposite of reality.

    Pete

    Pete,

    Yes, good afternoon. First, you new illogic, or rather irrelevant example: we're not talking about owners of any business here; we're talking about pharmacists. And as a side bar, I personally don't believe owners have the right to do whatever they please when they undertake to serve the public. This is an ideological difference that is ultimately going to prevent us from moving this debate forward. Now, in terms of punishment, when talking about pharmacists, we're talking about reprimands or firing, I suppose, not jail or fines or even tarring and feathering.

    It's absolutely not unconstitutional to fire someone for refusing to do their job based on religious beliefs. You're looking at the wrong aspect of the problem here. The person, pharmacist, let's say is being (theoretically) fired for not doing their job, period. That they don't do their job is based on some rational/irrational religious based belief is incidental. That may be the reason for the pharmacist him/herself for not fulfilling the professional obligations of the job, but ultimately the punishment results in only not performing prescribed duties. You need to brush up on your constitutional knowledge and history. The government has and will infringe on religious based practices when it conflicts with social and legal norms: I cite the notorious example of polygamy in the Mormon church.

    Dispensing medication is not a religious practice. And it cannot be legitimated based on any express biblical doctrine because there are so many injuctions in the bible (art, for instance) that it would amount to arbitrarily selecting biblical injunctions which would therefore delegitimate any claim to religious or biblical allegiance. In other words, a pharmacist cannot arbitrarily select injunctions from theological doctrine and expect to be taken seriously or have a valid constitutional protection.

    Paul.

  9. #9
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Cool

    Is it part of the job to sample the pain pills just incase they are bad? Customer Service first,thats what i say.
    Look & Listen

  10. #10
    What, me worry? piece-it pete's Avatar
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    Paul,

    No tarring and feathering?!

    Dang, just when I thought we were going to have some REAL fun .

    The premise of our system of gov't is individual freedom. A company, or a representitive of one, has the freedom within Constitutional bounds (and in some cases regulatory ones, but they can't override the Constitution) to serve or not serve as they see fit. At my company I routinely turn down customers for various reasons. For our discussion the reasons don't matter (it's not credit issues, but market ones) - it is not up to others to decide what we do, as we are not owned by the gov't. I thought most Americans were in agreement with this.

    I don't see this as being illogical or irrelevent.

    Anyway, and it's been a loooong time since this has come up, something like the employer has to make certain efforts to accomodate those of varying religious beliefs IIRC. Have someone else occasionally filling a prescription is hardly difficult.

    Although I see your point. But there's a big difference between an employer firing an employee for not doing their job and having the gov't FORCE you to do so. Freedom works both ways - customers can go somewhere else.

    And where does it stop? Will we force Doctors to perform abortions? By your logic yes.

    If assisted suicide becomes legal, will we force Pharmacists to sell poison?

    Pete
    I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
    Abraham Lincoln

  11. #11
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    Paul,

    No tarring and feathering?!

    Dang, just when I thought we were going to have some REAL fun .

    The premise of our system of gov't is individual freedom. A company, or a representitive of one, has the freedom within Constitutional bounds (and in some cases regulatory ones, but they can't override the Constitution) to serve or not serve as they see fit. At my company I routinely turn down customers for various reasons. For our discussion the reasons don't matter (it's not credit issues, but market ones) - it is not up to others to decide what we do, as we are not owned by the gov't. I thought most Americans were in agreement with this.

    I don't see this as being illogical or irrelevent.

    Anyway, and it's been a loooong time since this has come up, something like the employer has to make certain efforts to accomodate those of varying religious beliefs IIRC. Have someone else occasionally filling a prescription is hardly difficult.

    Although I see your point. But there's a big difference between an employer firing an employee for not doing their job and having the gov't FORCE you to do so. Freedom works both ways - customers can go somewhere else.

    And where does it stop? Will we force Doctors to perform abortions? By your logic yes.

    If assisted suicide becomes legal, will we force Pharmacists to sell poison?

    Pete
    I've had a long day and I'm tired, so I will respond to only two points:

    1). In rural areas, sometimes customers cannot go anywhere else. The idea that someone else at the pharmacy can fill a controversial prescription is arguing through idealized condititions that is asuming that a). the pharmacist will actually inform another pharmacist that a customer has requested a controversial medication and b). that there is in fact another certified/qualified (whatever) pharmacist present to do so. Therefore, I respectfully disagree with your point on this because it is activated along idealized conditions.

    2). My logic does not indeed bring us to the conclusion that we'd be in a position to force doctors to perform abortions because of the following line of reasoning. A pharamcist who enters his job assumes the responsibility of filling ALL legitimate prescriptions that the pharmacy carries, etc. He/She is not in a position to pick and choose, which is the heart of this debate. On the other hand, the way that the system is set up a doctor chooses a specialized line (or generalized internal medicine) of practice. Therefore, a plastic surgeon or pediatric cardiologist has no reasonable expectation of receiving a demand from a patient requesting an abortion. Your claim that my logic leads us to forcing doctors into performing abortions is predicated on a strict analogy between the practice of doctors and pharmacists and I have just demonstrated to you that there is no structural analogy and therefore my logic regarding the pharmacist does not in fact extend to doctors, but would extend to other professions where an employee assumes the responsibility of serving the public where the demands of service are only categorically known, not specifically known. So the pharmacist categorically knows he/she must fill prescriptions according to professional policies and guidelines, but does not know which specific prescriptions he/she will be asked to fil until the customer steps up. Likewise, a bartender categorically knows he/she will be serving drinks et al to drunks like myself, but would not know before hand which drinks those will be or how many or who will be in need. A doctor, especially one who performs surgical or invasive procedures like an abortion does know specifically the demands of work he/she assumes when going into that specialized profession.

    Again, I'm tired and I hope this serves as an acceptable response to two of your points.

    Paul.

  12. #12
    What, me worry? piece-it pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_pci
    I've had a long day and I'm tired, so I will respond to only two points:

    1). In rural areas, sometimes customers cannot go anywhere else. The idea that someone else at the pharmacy can fill a controversial prescription is arguing through idealized condititions that is asuming that a). the pharmacist will actually inform another pharmacist that a customer has requested a controversial medication and b). that there is in fact another certified/qualified (whatever) pharmacist present to do so. Therefore, I respectfully disagree with your point on this because it is activated along idealized conditions.
    This would be an issue worthy of Federal intervention if we were talking about neccessary meds. We're talking about electives.

    Quote Originally Posted by paul_pci
    2). My logic does not indeed bring us to the conclusion that we'd be in a position to force doctors to perform abortions because of the following line of reasoning. A pharamcist who enters his job assumes the responsibility of filling ALL legitimate prescriptions that the pharmacy carries, etc. He/She is not in a position to pick and choose, which is the heart of this debate. On the other hand, the way that the system is set up a doctor chooses a specialized line (or generalized internal medicine) of practice. Therefore, a plastic surgeon or pediatric cardiologist has no reasonable expectation of receiving a demand from a patient requesting an abortion. Your claim that my logic leads us to forcing doctors into performing abortions is predicated on a strict analogy between the practice of doctors and pharmacists and I have just demonstrated to you that there is no structural analogy and therefore my logic regarding the pharmacist does not in fact extend to doctors, but would extend to other professions where an employee assumes the responsibility of serving the public where the demands of service are only categorically known, not specifically known. So the pharmacist categorically knows he/she must fill prescriptions according to professional policies and guidelines, but does not know which specific prescriptions he/she will be asked to fil until the customer steps up.

    Likewise, a bartender categorically knows he/she will be serving drinks et al to drunks like myself, but would not know before hand which drinks those will be or how many or who will be in need.
    lol - I think the answer is perhaps many and many or many.

    Quote Originally Posted by paul_pci
    A doctor, especially one who performs surgical or invasive procedures like an abortion does know specifically the demands of work he/she assumes when going into that specialized profession.
    OK, I understand, but.... what kind of Dr. does abortions? For the sake of argument say a surgeon. So, if they're out in one of those rural areas and someone needs an abortion they do or do not have to provide one? Says who? The Feds? Supreme Court? Or the people?

    Quote Originally Posted by paul_pci
    Again, I'm tired and I hope this serves as an acceptable response to two of your points.

    Paul.
    Of course. I did fly off the handle a bit, and the Constitutional thing made me VERY uncomfortable (I'm surprised no regulars took me to task on that one!). However, turnabout is fair play. Again, we aren't talking about critical meds here. I see no valid reason to add to Federal power.

    Pete
    I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
    Abraham Lincoln

  13. #13
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
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    Personally, I don't think it's up to the pharmacist to define what is an elective drug and what is not. I would never consider birth control whether it's monthly or some emergency to be elective. That's just arrogance that anybody other than the consumer who has a legitimate and legal prescription in hand to decide that status. I'm sorry, the pharmacist doesn't get to decide what's elective and what's not. That's total crap. And if you were to stand up and claim the pharmacist can define that then your argument is ultimately arbitrary because there is no legitimate criteria whereby you could ascribe that power to the pharmacist that wouldn't also be applicable to the consumer and doctor, meaning that you are arbitrarily favoring the pharamicist because of ideological alignment.

    In my estimation the federal government wouldn't have to step in if the pharmacist just did his/her job. And that goes for a whole host of laws and regulations we have in our society. If people, be it in the business or nonbusiness world did the right thing, followed their prescribed obligations, the government wouldn't have to step in and say "stop." But people don't do the right thing, so as new issues crop up, new laws and regulations are written to compensate. I admit to being a total cynic and I don't trust people to do the right thing. Therefore, I want the government there to step in, debate what the right thing is (you know that whole democratic process) and enforce it. We don't live in a utopia and it's only adolescent nonsense to believe we can all be left to our own devices and there will be no conflicts.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular karl k's Avatar
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    Here's an idea...

    Quote Originally Posted by paul_pci
    Personally, I don't think it's up to the pharmacist to define what is an elective drug and what is not. I would never consider birth control whether it's monthly or some emergency to be elective. That's just arrogance that anybody other than the consumer who has a legitimate and legal prescription in hand to decide that status. I'm sorry, the pharmacist doesn't get to decide what's elective and what's not. That's total crap. And if you were to stand up and claim the pharmacist can define that then your argument is ultimately arbitrary because there is no legitimate criteria whereby you could ascribe that power to the pharmacist that wouldn't also be applicable to the consumer and doctor, meaning that you are arbitrarily favoring the pharamicist because of ideological alignment.

    In my estimation the federal government wouldn't have to step in if the pharmacist just did his/her job. And that goes for a whole host of laws and regulations we have in our society. If people, be it in the business or nonbusiness world did the right thing, followed their prescribed obligations, the government wouldn't have to step in and say "stop." But people don't do the right thing, so as new issues crop up, new laws and regulations are written to compensate. I admit to being a total cynic and I don't trust people to do the right thing. Therefore, I want the government there to step in, debate what the right thing is (you know that whole democratic process) and enforce it. We don't live in a utopia and it's only adolescent nonsense to believe we can all be left to our own devices and there will be no conflicts.
    Maybe instead of making more laws(which I'd rather not have to require the laws anyway) forcing a person, of obvious superior moral conviction, to do their job, we should just petition the source of the decision making to supply the recommended meds at the office. After all, a pharmacy really only exists for our convenience(think early 1900's) and if I have to worry about whether I will be judged by someone who has no clue who I am or why I'm requesting the meds, then that doesn't seem very convenient to me. I personally would consider it more convenient to get the meds at the Dr's office anyway as I'm leaving from my appointment rather than have to drive an extra trip. Hell, I'm not even sure that the pill(not necessarily the morning after) shouldn't be considered an "over the counter" med! Most Dr's maintain that the only reason for the scrip is to get the patient in for the paps test every so often anyway!

    Should a pharmacist be forced to dispense a perscribed product? If so, only by his employer... not the gov't. If it gets to a point where too many won't do their job, then there will be a huge market for others to fill and less need to infringe on someones beliefs and ethics.

    One has to ask themselves...

    What is the real goal of not dispensing birthcontrol and what is the real result of not doing so?


    Oh, BTW paul...

    "it's only adolescent nonsense to believe we can all be left to our own devices and there will be no conflicts." While this may indeed play out to be true, I still consider it a worthy goal to shoot for none the less. It really only needs some tolerance and understanding on everyones part to succeed(violent acts aside) . You are as young as you feel or acting your age. I prefer the former to the latter.
    Karl K.

    The shortest distance between two points is a straight line... in the opposite direction.

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