Me, Me, Me!
Unfortunately, if you're a woman, it has come to this. To have a shot at receiving proper health care, you better make sure you have a contingency plan:
During the summer of 2002, Noesen was an independent contractor and worked as a "relief" pharmacist at K-Mart pharmacy in Menomonie.
Prior to working at the pharmacy, Noesen told the managing pharmacist that due to his beliefs, he could not fill birth control prescriptions because he believed they could cause an abortion.
The managing pharmacist said Noesen would not have to fill those orders, and that the managing pharmacist would fill them later. There was no discussion of whether Noesen would transfer such a prescription, but the managing pharmacist assumed Noesen would.
A doctor prescribed a young woman Loestrin FE on June 3, 2002, and authorized refills until June 6, 2003.
On June 8, 2002, the young woman gave the prescription to the K-Mart Pharmacy to have it on file for future use.
On Saturday, July 6, 2002, the young woman went back to refill the prescription that was already on file.
Noesen was the only pharmacist working when the young woman came in. Noesen asked her if she was using it for birth control purposes. When she replied "yes," he told her that it was against his personal religious beliefs to fill the prescription.
The young woman then asked Noesen where she could go to get it filled. Noesen told the woman that he couldn't provide her with that information. Noesen did not tell the young woman that according to Wisconsin Administrative Code PHAR 7.05(3) it was her right to have the prescription transferred to another pharmacy.
Later that day, the young woman went to a Wal-Mart Pharmacy to have her prescription filled. The Wal-Mart pharmacist called Noesen to get the prescription ordered transferred.
Noesen refused to transfer the prescription based on his religious beliefs.
The young woman then called K-Mart and talked to an assistant store manager who asked if she could wait until Monday to have the prescription filled. The young woman told the assistant manager that she couldn't wait because her prescription cycle would begin on Sunday. The assistant store manager said the managing pharmacist would come in on Sunday to fill the prescription.
The young woman called on Sunday to check on the prescription. The assistant store manager said the managing pharmacist hadn't been in and hadn't filled the prescription. The assistant store manager again asked if she could wait until Monday. She again said "no" and said that she either needed it filled or needed to have the prescription order back so she could fill it somewhere else.
The assistant store manager called the managing pharmacist who was out of town. He told the assistant store manager that if Noesen wouldn't fill the order that he should transfer it. The assistant store manager told Noesen this, but he still refused.
And the reason Mr. Noesen decided to refuse treatment:
Noesen said that the precedent for the case is what mattered to him-so that others could follow their conscience without fear.
"Conscience and worker rights are at the center of the issue, and conscience is at the center of humanity," said Noesen.
What patient? What patient's needs? In Mr. Noesen's world it's all about: Me, Me, Me!
In a more encouraging development, Oregon residents can now purchase birth control online [which makes one wonder, if this trend catches on, who'd be left as an experimental subject for the likes of Mr. Noesen]:
The service is limited to women who live in Oregon and have a credit card and access to a computer with Adobe Acrobat Reader. It requires paying a $35 fee, filling out a medical questionnaire and talking by phone with a nurse practitioner. The service makes three types of contraception available: birth control pills, the Ortho Evra patch and the NuvaRing device.