Saturday, May 02, 2009

Missouri Politicians Abolish Professional Duties, Standards for Pharmacies

Missouri politicians just passed a law that strikes a serious blow to Communism on American soil.

The Missouri House on Tuesday voted 115-43 to approve HB 226, an amendment that [s]pecifies that no pharmacy can be required to perform, assist, recommend, refer to, or participate in any act or service resulting in an abortion and it will be immune from liability for refusing to do so.

By definition, when it comes to women of reproductive age, refusing to provide professional services to patients you deem undesirable is an inalienable right. As such, there's nothing special about politicians enacting laws to shield medical professionals from liability. These politicians are just doing [insert deity of choice]'s work. (Hear that malpractice lawyers!)

What is remarkable about Missouri's HB 226 is that it represents a quantum leap forward from the noble pursuit of playing games with your untouchable patients' trust, dignity, and health without any professional or legal liability.

This law HB 226 allows pharmacies and pharmacists to take advantage of all the benefits of having a monopoly on the sale of drugs without any requirements to abide by those pesky professional duties and standards that are usually a condition of being granted a State monopoly.

Like so:

No licensed pharmacy in this state shall be required to perform, assist, recommend, refer to, or participate in any act or service...

No duty to dispense drugs, talk to or advise patients, refer them to another pharmacist, or refrain from stealing taking a patient's prescription and refusing to return it to her.

...in connection with any drug or device that is an abortifacient, including but not limited to the RU486 drug and emergency contraception such as the Plan B drug...

No requirement to adhere to the professional standard of using science when dispensing drugs. (The medical definition of abortifacient is out, the personal definition is in.)

No duty to dispense drugs to *pregnant* patients, since most prescription medications are Category C. (Good luck with that asthma attack if you're a pregnant woman in Missouri!)

...not limited to the RU486 drug...

No requirement to stock or dispense a drug, RU-486, that cannot be legally stocked by pharmacies or dispensed by pharmacists to begin with.

No duty to provide pain meds or antibiotics to a patient who's been administered misoprostol and RU-486 by her physician, or, for that matter, to a patient who has an IUD, is already using birth control pills, or to men who are wearing tight underwear. (Hey, when you legislate science out of medicine, defining man panties as a device that is an abortifacient is perfectly valid.)

You tell me, what is more anti-communist than having the State grant a monopoly to an enterprise, remove duty and standard requirements, and then shield the entity from liability?

Here is the full text oh HB 226; read it and weep:

338.575. 1. No licensed pharmacy in this state shall be required to perform, assist, recommend, refer to, or participate in any act or service in connection with any drug or device that is an abortifacient, including but not limited to the RU486 drug and emergency contraception such as the Plan B drug.

2. No civil or criminal cause of action shall accrue against a pharmacy due to a refusal to perform, assist, recommend, refer for, or participate in any act or service in accordance with subsection 1 of this section.

3. No board, commission, or other agency or instrumentality of this state shall deny, revoke, suspend, or otherwise discipline the license of a pharmacy, nor shall it impose any other condition of operation due to a refusal to perform, assist, recommend, refer for, or participate in any act or service in accordance with subsection 1 of this section.

4. No pharmacy shall be denied or discriminated against in eligibility for or the receipt of any public benefit, assistance, or privilege of any kind due to a refusal to perform, assist, recommend, refer for, or participate in any act or service in accordance with subsection 1 of this section.


One last thing. I have a question for Rep. Ed Emery, Rep. Cynthia Davis, and all the other Missouri politicians who passed HB 226. Since you've removed the professional duty and standard requirements for the sale of drugs, can I haz street stand for the glorious, Capitalist selling of Plan B in your state?


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22 Comments:

At 4:07 PM, OpenID sciencenotes said...

Over and over again, "Plan B" does not cause abortions, it prevents ovulation. So it is not covered by this legislation.

 
At 4:39 PM, Blogger ema said...

sciencenotes,

Except reality plays no role in this legislation.

Not only is Plan B covered by this legislation, it's specifically mentioned in the text to make it clear that the scientific definition of abortifacient is not the one to be used.

Plan B's mechanism of action (prevents ovulation; no evidence for interference with fertilization, but possible; no effect on egg/sperm transport; no effect on implantation) is irrelevant.

The standard, under HB 226, is whatever a pharmacists feels/believes/decrees.

 
At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Blue Girl said...

Actually, Plan B prevents implantation, not ovulation. It is a higher dose of the same hormones in regular oral contraceptives which do prevent ovulation.

Now that the science is dealt with, lets get to the politics...

This is sound and fury, signifying nothing. Governor Nixon won't sign this. It will be vetoed without a moments hesitation. And even if they could muster the votes to override in both chambers, there is not enough time left in the session to do so. As soon as the budget is finalized next week, the state lege is out of session.

This is just wingnut silliness for the outstate morons to go back and whine about being thwarted on by that librul in the mansion. Except those outstate morons who voted for the wingnut state legislators crossed the ballot and voted for Nixon, too. That is why he eeked out a mere 19% victory in November - the largest margin ever for a governors race in the 189 year history of the state.

 
At 5:27 PM, Blogger ema said...

Blue Girl,

Actually, Plan B prevents implantation, not ovulation. It is a higher dose of the same hormones in regular oral contraceptives which do prevent ovulation.Two things. First, actually Plan B prevents ovulation; there's no evidence that it prevents implantation.

Second, Plan B is not a higher dose of the same hormones in regular oral contraceptives.

Plan B has only one hormone, a progestin (levonorgestrel). COCs have an estrogen and a progestin.

Now that the science is dealt with, lets get to the politics...If I may offer a suggestion. When commenting on a post that mocks the lack of scientific knowledge it's best to make sure you're familiar with, you know, the science under discussion.

This is sound and fury, signifying nothing. Governor Nixon won't sign this. It will be vetoed without a moments hesitation.Yes, because as long as something might (or might not, for all we know) happen down the road to nix the bill that this amendment is part of, legislators have no duty to be professional.

This is just wingnut silliness for the outstate morons to go back and whine about being thwarted on by that librul in the mansion.I'm not familiar with Missouri politics, so, as far as I know, your analysis is spot-on. Still, there's no excuse for politicians to be unprofessional and ignorant and to pass legislation just for fun and political games on the taxpayers' dime.

 
At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your posting is confused about what is a law and what is not. A bill was passed by the House. You can say "the law would allow", you cannot say "the law allows" because there is no law yet. Nor will there be, since the Senate hasn't passed the bill and the Governor hasn't (and wouldn't) sign the bill. Only then would it become a law.

None of this should dissuade you from mocking it roundly. But this is just political grandstanding, not actual potential legislation.

 
At 6:02 PM, Blogger --Blue Girl said...

Still, there's no excuse for politicians to be unprofessional and ignorant and to pass legislation just for fun and political games on the taxpayers' dime.No it isn't. But we fight our battles with ballots rather than bullets so we are stuck with these morons like Denny Hoskins and Rodney Pratt and Ron Richards and the like until November 2010.

Our statehouse is a textbook example of exactly why term limits are a really bad idea. The wingers took over the statehouse in 2000 and destroyed comity, cross-party cooperation and institutional memory when term limits came into effect. Now that many of them are in their last term, surprise surprise, they are not so keen on them as they were when they used them to gain both chambers the only way they could.

Fortunately, many in the state seem to be catching on and we are poised to regain at least the House in 10, and possibly the Senate as well - but that will be a bit tougher. Frankly, we should have done it in '08 - but we dropped the ball - we were so focused on the White House and the Governor's mansion that we dropped the ball on downticket races.

In 2010 - we have a strong statewide candidate running for the Senate - Robin Carnahan. Nixon had a larger margin of victory than she did in November, but she collected more votes than any statewide candidate in the history of the state, and State Auditory Susan Montee will be on the ballot too. Those two ladies are likely to have some long coattails.

Our lege is a mess - and their constituents are slowly starting to realize this. Not to put too fine a point on it, but they are a fucking embarrassment, and have managed to prove it on the national stage a couple of times this session. And thanks to teh internets, people like me are driving that point home to our outstate friends and relatives.

If you want to do something about it, when election time draws near, follow the blogs like Show Me Progress and Fired Up! Missouri and help us raise money for our Democratic challengers and candidates in open term-limited races. Money wins elections and unfortunately we are a poor state and our Democrats are hard pressed to match the corporate dollars the repug whores rake in.

Missouri needs an Obama-like small-donor revolution next year. And help from concerned progressives in other states.

 
At 6:04 PM, Blogger --Blue Girl said...

Nowhere is it more true than in Missouri that "The House makes the news, the Senate makes the laws."

 
At 6:16 PM, Blogger ema said...

Anon,

HB 226 is an amendment to a bill. [As noted in my post, the House passed HB 226.] That bill was already passed by the Senate:

Missouri's Senate already approved the original bill (S.B 296), which involves professional licensing regulations.

However, the House has yet to pass the bill.

In any case, I'll change This law allows pharmacies ... to HB 226 allows pharmacies... to make it clear what I'm referring to.

But this is just political grandstanding, not actual potential legislation.Maybe, but as I mentioned before, that's no excuse to conduct yourself in an unprofessional manner just because your job happens to be "politician."

 
At 6:25 PM, Blogger ema said...

--Blue Girl,

Thank you for the information.

 
At 6:38 PM, Blogger --Blue Girl said...

I think we both learned something in this thread. :)

 
At 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm getting confused by the way things work in Europe (in which case, feel free to correct me), but I'm afraid pharmacists are right on this one. If a pharmacist doesn't want to sell you condoms/abortifacients/aspirin/whatever because that would make baby Jesus cry, he is in the same position as a grocer that doesn't want to sell bananas because he abhors yellow things. It's his own business, he is his own boss, and if he decides not to carry a certain product, you can't really force him to. Now, a different thing would be to have doctors refusing to do their duty. Doctors are (again, at least in Europe) public servants, and if the state says that they have to administer whatever drug, they have no choice.

 
At 7:38 PM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 6:48 PM,

Pharmacists have a State monopoly on the sale of drugs. In exchange for being granted that privilege, pharmacists take on a duty to actually provide a service to the public and to adhere to a professional standard.

 
At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Gilgamesh said...

Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O'Fallon, said
"...anybody who is an American, who is not in favor of Communism..."

What a blatant use of the Association fallacy.

Rep. Davis' staff should tell her the whole communist, red baiting days of McCarthy are long gone. Now its just embarrassing.

 
At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally. This is a step in the right direction. The next thing on the agenda is refusing to sell all medications for HIV/AIDS. We all know how those degenerates were receptacles for that scourge! Then we need to ban all treatments for any and all sexually transmitted diseases. Because obviously these people have not been following god's rules. Birth control pills, condoms, spermicide,diaphragms, they are next. A woman's body is for ONE THING. Raise your hand if you know the answer.

 
At 12:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These pharmacies should be forced to post their policy at the door, so that people can choose to not buy ANYTHING from them. Perhaps, then, some professionalism might return.

 
At 1:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, it's ok for daddy to get viagra and diddle her, but now she'll more likely have to carry her baby/step-child to term even if she'd rather not.

Ban viagra!

 
At 4:39 AM, Anonymous Blue Girl said...

Again - this legislation is dead on arrival.

Post dispensing with the silliness is here.

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger moneduloides said...

Obviously, there's a great deal of hypocrisy involved.

 
At 4:35 PM, Anonymous m Andrea said...

Bluegirl's entire assertion is: "Missouri's House members are insane so of course this bill that wrote they won't pass. Nothing to see here, move along".

Sounds kinda stoopid put like that, dear.

Misognyny should always be exposed regardless of where it occurs, and of course there is rather a large contingent of people actively working to keep females enslaved. Do you also assert that racism should just be ignored?

 
At 4:54 PM, Blogger Theresa said...

Whether or not the bill passes the Senate, or the governor signs it, the idea that 115 supposedly intelligent people that are supposed to be representing the people of Missouri actually voted for this bill is scary.

 
At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

yup! plan B is not covered.

Regards,
Mike
http://www.pinoypharmacy.com

 
At 11:33 PM, Blogger ema said...

Mike,

338.575. 1. No licensed pharmacy in this state shall be required to perform, assist, recommend, refer to, or participate in any act or service in connection with any drug or device that is an abortifacient, including but not limited to the RU486 drug and emergency contraception such as the Plan B drug.

 

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