Thursday, March 03, 2005

Pharmacist denies patient contraceptive medicine

An article in the Wisconsin State Journal describes a pharmacist denying contraceptive medicine to a patient based on the pharmacist's beliefs. I found this article, and have been engaged in some minor discussion about it, on The American Journal of Bioethics Editors Blog [for those who have never visited the blog or the Journal, please do, it's awesome and well worth regular reading].

I'd be interested in reading other people's comments on this issue. While I can understand and agree with the imposition on liberty that State's actions would mean, I strongly believe that the pharmacist's actions were in violation of the responsibilities of his role as a pharmacist --a safe provider of medicine to patients, which is their primary responsibility.

Bioethics Dude has been thinking a lot about this since last night and will likely address this some more in the future, as role ethics and role responsibility is topic that fascinates the Dude. The main concern is limited to role ethics and role responsibility. Some questions that are on my mind:

  1. How similar is this conscientious objection to whistle blowing in terms of straying or answering to a "higher cause" than the responsibilities which are a part of the role?
  2. Just what are the role responsibilities of pharmacists?
  3. Was the pharmacist right to deny transfer of the prescription to another pharmacy? Especially as the patient ended up missing a dose.
  4. In a Kantian way, what would the repercussions be if every pharmacist acted this way?

Bioethics Dude will continue to ponder these questions and hopefully come up with responses that may shed some light on the issue --in hopes of framing further questions in a more informative way (I doubt that there is a clear response to this in some eventuality...but really, when is there:-)


Blogger Axiom said...

In my view pharmacist decision was present i have got assignment on same topic and just started reading theories of conseq/dentological.under consequentalist theories pharmacist must dispense the medicine.i have not still finished the dentological view but in my view still under law of ethics he should had dispesned the morning pill.
Akash Arora

April 09, 2005 12:19 PM  
Blogger Bioethics Dude said...

Thanks Akash, I agree; and would be interested in reading your analysis/assignment of the case. If you don't mind, please send me a copy when you can. If I post anything on it, I will of course site you and do so with your permission! Best, BD.

April 10, 2005 1:13 PM  
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October 29, 2005 3:26 PM  

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