Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Your "Friendly" Pharmacist

More on pharmacists who refuse to fill/steal women's prescriptions, from Pandagon. Again, please make sure to read the comments [in particular, the one from James Joyner, the author of the Reason article.]

I'm still not sure how best to combat this problem, but I can tell you my take on the issue. Medical personnel should be able to refuse treatment if, and only if:

1) Referral to a competent substitute has been secured [by the medical professional who's doing the refusing, NOT the patient].

and

2) Circumstances permit. If they don't, the patient's medical needs trump the medical professional's beliefs, and care should be rendered.

Based on my experience [I've done both 1 and 2] what this all comes down to is this: your job as a medical professional is to render the best available care to your patients, not impose your Weltanschauung on them.

And on that moralistic note, a word from the most moral of us all, the Pharmacists for "Life" [quotes because it's not clear whose life these pharmacists are for]: their list of pharmacists and/or pharmacies pledging to abide by the PFLI [Pharmacists For Life International] Code of Ethics and aver they do not dispense any abortifacient drugs or devices, nor do they refer for the same.

Troubling when personal belief trumps reality. [Interesting comment: You may believe that Christ makes the morning-after pill immoral, but that doesn't mean you deny [its] existence.]


(via Pandagon)

4 Comments:

At 1:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no problem with #1. I believe #2 should be a little better defined. Noone should be refused care in an emergency, or be refused life or health sustaining drugs. I don't believe ec ever falls into that category, however, and "when circumstances permit" is too vague. A pharmacist could be held responsible for a patient's lack of transportation, for example.
5in9years

 
At 4:13 PM, Blogger ema said...

By "circumstances permit" I meant the patient's care wouldn't be disrupted. For the situation under discussion--there's another pharmacist available in the same store, the refusing pharmacist has a standing arrangement with another store to have the rx filled and delivered, there's an on-call pharmacists who'd came in to fill the rx, etc. [Re the lack of transportation: I see what you're saying, but under my definition that wouldn't be a problem because the refusing pharmacist would have to make sure the rx is filled, by whatever means, in store.]

Noone should be refused care in an emergency, or be refused life or health sustaining drugs. I don't believe ec ever falls into that category...

Agree, with one proviso. EC is a life/health sustaining drug; by preventing pregnancy/possible abortion it significantly lowers a woman's mortality risk.

 
At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I agree. EC also has risks. Which option has the lowest risk? At most, it has the potential to eliminate some risks while adding others. Insulin is life sustaining b/c not using it temporarily has an immediate negative impact on health, and not using it permanently is deadly. If a diabetic is refused insulin, he will get sick. If a woman is refused EC she may become pregnant, in which case she may decide to have an abortion or to stay pregnant. If she stay pregnant she may have complications. There is no situation in which not getting EC definitely (or even probably) leads a negative outcome.
5in9years

 
At 12:41 AM, Blogger ema said...

EC also has risks.

Other than a known allergy to the pill's components, there are no contraindications to EC use. [Its side effects: nausea/vomiting, altered bleeding pattern.] Both being pregnant, and/or having a [subsequent] termination carry a risk of death. They are both considerably riskier than not being pregnant.

There is no situation in which not getting EC definitely (or even probably) leads a negative outcome.

Having unprotected sex, and not getting EC, definitely/probably [depending on the particular circumstances] leads to pregnancy. The risk of death* from continuing the pregnancy is 1:10,000 (for first trim legal abx it's 1:263,000).

In terms of risks, when compared to not being pregnant (not having a termination), pregnancy (having a termination) is the negative outcome.

*Williams 21 ed. p 1518

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home