Marquette Warrior: Marquette Tribune: No Right of Conscience for Pharmacists

Friday, April 15, 2011

Marquette Tribune: No Right of Conscience for Pharmacists

An editorial in the April 14 Tribune addresses the issue of laws that force pharmacists to supply “emergency contraception.” A recent court ruling in Illinois found that such laws violate the rights of pharmacists. But the Tribune did not agree.
Plan B, commonly known as the morning-after pill, is an emergency contraceptive that provides women with the option to prevent unwanted pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex. It is readily available to women in pharmacies across the country.

According to NBC Chicago, an Illinois judge recently sided with two pharmacists claiming that prescribing Plan B violates the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act, which protects health care providers from being forced to perform duties that conflict with their beliefs.

However, this freedom violates the rights of consumers who rely on pharmacies to provide them with emergency contraceptives if needed. Plan B, unlike the abortion pill, prevents ovulation or fertilization, not implantation, which would terminate a pregnancy.

The six-year-old state law requiring pharmacies to fill prescriptions without making moral judgments is now abolished, granting pharmacies the right to choose whether to stock them or not.

Regardless of religious beliefs, pharmacists have an obligation to their clients to fill their prescriptions.

Simply put, it is not the pharmacist’s choice. Imposing personal moral judgments on another individual’s life choices in the medical field is unprofessional and intrusive.

Pharmacists should not be granted so much power. The power of choice should belong to the individual making the decision. Consumers should not have the burden of worrying whether their prescription will be honored due to someone else’s beliefs.

Encouragingly, the state attorney general’s office plans to file an appeal in the near future. But, the moral argument still stands. An individual’s own beliefs cannot be imposed on others, especially concerning one’s medical choices. Personal beliefs must be kept in the background in professional settings, not interfering with decisions of others.[emphasis added]
That’s a stunning statement.

It’s typical of liberals that they preen and prance and talk about the evil of imposing one’s moral beliefs on others, all the while imposing their moral beliefs on others!

When liberals talk about “choice,” they are always talking about people making choices they think are acceptable. Like the choice to have irresponsible sex with no consequences or the choice to have an abortion. Liberals don’t believe people should have a choice to own a gun, or drive an SUV.

The Tribune doesn’t believe medical personnel should have any choice to avoid dispensing medicines they think are immoral. The editorial doesn’t address this issue, but the exact same logic would say that doctors and nurses should be forced to perform abortions, or drummed out of the medical profession.

If the morning after pill is legal, women have a right to buy it from any willing seller. They don’t have the right to coerce an unwilling seller to provide it.

Consider, for example, Supreme Court decision Lawrence v Texas. It ruled that people have a Constitutional right to have homosexual sex. That’s bad constitutional law (although we wouldn’t vote, in a state legislature, to outlaw any consensual sexual activity among consenting adults). But suppose you can’t find a willing partner? You have to do without. It would be a very odd idea that your right to have homosexual sex means that somebody has to be coerced into having sex with you.

One expects young journalists to be liberals. Conservatives tend to self-select out of the profession, knowing that it will be hostile territory.

But a supposed Catholic university should have at least some fledgling journalists with a bit of respect for Catholic moral teaching, and tolerance for people whose consciences are formed by that Catholic teaching.

But Marquette isn’t really a Catholic university. Given the choice of siding with pharmacists whose consciences are formed by Catholic teaching, or young women who have engaged in slutty sexual behavior, the Tribune has sided with the latter.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what the Tribune's editorial board would say if a Pharmacist was forced, by a state with the death penalty, to provide the drugs for the execution of a murderer. I bet at that point they would certainly scream for the "right of conscience" for that pharmacist.

As with all liberals it is always a right when they want it, but never a right when they don't want it.

4:30 AM  
Blogger david said...


It's time someone pointed out that your erudition has been lacking lately. I expect impeccably clean copy from you. The Warrior has had many, many typos lately. I, for one, have noticed. I also have noticed that you've misspelled several names. As a "blogger-journalist" that is a cardinal sin!! I love, love, love your message and I hope you'll proofread more carefully in the future.

I wouldn't write this to Perez Hilton. I hope you understand that it's because I hold you in the highest regard that it irks me to see rough copy.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous scott said...

David: Blogging is the willingness to write frequently and badly in public. Relax. Blogs which are written with the same careful editing and proofreading as newspaper articles usually lack the immediacy which one expects in the medium.

Professor: If you ran a restaurant would you keep on vegetarian a waiter who refused to serve meat to his tables? If you ran Federal Express would you keep on an Amish courier who refused to utilize motorized transportation?

The fact is, an employer has every right to fire someone if they cannot or will not perform the job for which they were hired. It doesn't matter if the reason for their inability is religious or "a matter of conscience." If they can't or won't do the job, they should be fired.

And nobody is making anyone do anything. If you want to be a licensed pharmacist in the state of Wisconsin, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that you're going to dispense every legal, physician-prescribed medication to all who can pay. Whatever else a pharmacist might be expected to do, I think that's kind of the core of the job. And if they don't want to do that job, they won't be forced to. Ever. Because they can simply find other employment.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

It would be a very odd idea that your right to have homosexual sex means that somebody has to be coerced into having sex with you...


But under Islamic law, a husband may force the wife to have sex.

So--is the Tribune Editorial Board a bunch of crypto-Muslim extremists?

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, david, I'm sure your passive aggressive comments are really going to inspire Prof. McAdams. Certainly your disagreement with his opinions on pharmacists' rights had nothing to do with the timing of your douchey comment.

Do I get a pass because this writing is within the comment section? Certainly you have approved a pass for yourself--(!!)-- What about when I post on facebook? Please feel free to criticize my grammar so I can become a better person.

-James Diamond, BA (2008)

3:41 PM  
Blogger david said...

"Douche" and any of its derivatives is the most commonplace, banal insult of our generation. You certainly don't get a pass on that. Step your game up!!

4:37 AM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

If you ran a restaurant would you keep on vegetarian a waiter who refused to serve meat to his tables?

That's not the issue. An employer can put any conditions on employment he wants.

The question is: would you favor a law to force a vegetarian restaurant to serve meat?

Whatever else a pharmacist might be expected to do, I think that's kind of the core of the job.

Says who? Tolerant people don't just define away the rights of other people.

Your position is "do was we liberals say, or you have to leave your profession."

You are making my point for me.

9:32 AM  

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