Friday, April 08, 2005

Follow-up Articles in re Pharmacist Conscience Acts/Conduct

Some news developments on this, that I thought may be helpful to the readers in having it accessible in one entry (as this continues to be a topic of interest to the Dude and the community --even WNYC had a blurb on it recently; it aint' goin' away folks...):

  • My preliminary post on it, and the follow-up. I welcome comments, just please read those that have already been left by readers and my responses to them before commenting.
  • Arizona approves bill protecting pharmacists in denying by reason of conscience providing emergency contraceptives...I wonder how they will operationally handle this for those who need it in a fair and equitable manner?
  • Commentary on the Illinois reasoning and repercussion of a Conscience Act. (Arguing Pro)
  • Information on a survey being conducted of Kentucky pharmacists in order to obtain info on how frequent such requests are (and briefly mentions Illinois Gov. Blagojevich's directive to dispense such drugs without delay).
  • Commentary on the down-side of such clauses, specially addressing that the pharmacists actions may trump the decisions of the primary health care providers (e.g., doctors) and that pharmacists cannot act in that capacity; as well as the dangers in expanding conscience clauses to encompass pharmacists as well. I agree with the writer that pharmacists who cannot conduct their expected duties (and it is pretty clearly laid out what those are) should find another livelyhood, but the question that argument doesn't answer and hence feels insufficient on is how is that different from the primary health care workers? Is it that those jobs (i.e., those of the physicans) have a broader decisional scope and hence that somehow entitles them to conscience exceptions? The Dude mostly is on the side of pharmacists doing their job and if they can't then finding something else to do -as noted in my previous posts- but I do want to find a satisfactory reason for differentiating why conscience exeptions as such are not as neatly applicable to them. And thus far in the debate, no one has appeared to make that necessary distinction.

  • Further and once again, the articles don't address -certainly not sufficiently- how this is really going to be operationalized. If women need emergency contraception at 2 a.m. (and I think it's valid to remove an analysis of why she needs that prescription as that's not related to the prospective harm perceived by those acting per their conscience), and she has only several hours to take that emergency contraceptive, how will she readily be able to know which pharmacy to go to? How will such information be made available to the public so that the lay person can know that only pharmacy X can serve them?

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