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The culture war at the pharmacy

Pharmacists engage a new spot in the front ranks of the reproductive culture wars.

Once, obstetricians and physical education teachers were faced the tough dilemmas, whether to perform abortions or birth-control to stress abstinence

But now, a generation of pharmacists pharmacy health topics is saddled through reproductive choices, whether to dispense morning-after pills and to whom, and, progressively more, even whether to fill birth-control prescriptions.

Some state legislatures, as well as Virginia’s, have grappled with so-called “conscience clauses,” under which pharmacists could not be compelled to dispense medication that conflict with their moral code. So far, sensibly, such bills haven’t passed here.

At least one state, Illinois, has in use the opposite tack, passing an emergency rule that directs pharmacists to fill contraceptive prescriptions with no delay. Ideally, that wouldn’t be essential either.

The debate is likely to make stronger if, and when, the Food and Drug Administration follows the advice of its personal scientific panels and approves the so-called Plan B, morning-after pills, for over-the-counter circulation. Particularly if sales are limited to those over 16, as seems likely, pharmacy health topics most likely will monitor distribution.

A predicament then arises for pharmacists who consider that both birth control pills and Plan B, which is just a high dose of such hormones, grounds abortions. To achieve that conclusion, one must reject the broadly accepted scientific definition of pregnancy as start when a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus.

Because birth control medicine sometimes work by preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg, those who consider pregnancy, and thus life, starts with fertilization regard such medication as an abortifacient.

How ought pharmacists to react?

In general, no one out to be forced into actions that violate a personal moral coade.

But neither ought any woman be denied authorized medication that she needs and wants and that comports with her ethical code.

When the two conflict, then specialized responsibility tilts toward serving a medical need. Those who cannot live with that normal ought to arrange for someone else to provide the service.

If pharmacists start on to pick and chose in dispensing medications, women with restricted access to pharmacies, pharmacy health topics either because of insurance limitations or because they live in rural areas, stand to be most affected.

The most intelligent guidance comes from the American Pharmacists Association, which says that pharmacists be, supposed to refuse to fill prescriptions only if their customers be able to get the medication some other way.

In an era when the majority pharmacies are owned by key corporations, responsibility for meeting that standard rests with the company. Pharmacists have a responsibility to inform capable employers, upfront, if they have qualms about dispensing birth control products.

All individuals have an obligation to respect their personal code of ethics. But that does not give them the correct to impose life-altering conditions on others who do not share their personal thinking.

pharmacy health topics contain a professional responsibility to the public. Those who cannot honor it should formulate other arrangements.



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