We prefer pharmacists without ethics

We prefer pharmacists without ethics

A Texas pharmacist decided that he could not participate in compounding a crime (rape) with another one (murder of an innocent) and thus refused to fill a prescription for the abortifacient morning-after pill. So the “forces of choice” have engaged in a protest of the pharmacist’s decision. What about the pharmacist’s choice not to participate in abortion. And the noodle-spined corporate bigwigs of the Eckerd pharmacy chain threw the pharmacist to the wolves:

“Apparently there was a request for a prescription to be filled and the prescription was denied based on a moral or ethical decision made by the pharmacist, and that’s not in accordance with our corporate policy,” said Joan Gallagher, vice president of communications for Largo, Florida-based Eckerd Corp.

Catch that? Eckerd says that it is not corporate policy for an employee to make a decision based on morals and ethics. After all, we haven’t had any lessons over the past couple years that employees should be consultings morality and ethics in the way they carry out their jobs, right?

Eckerd will never get another dollar from me.

By the way, the state board of pharmacists backs the company line. They say state law allows pharmacists to decline to fill prescriptions if it will harm the patient. (He could claim that it would harm the patient’s child, but we know how that would be received.) The board’s director echoes the Eckerd corporate drone: “The law does not say that the pharmacy can decline because of moral ground.” Just what our society needs: state-mandated amoral health-care providers.

  • Annie,

    He wasn’t MORE reluctant because the woman was raped. He was morally opposed to dispensing it at all.

    You can call it “taking a large dose of hormones” or “emergency contraception”, but the goal of the morning-after pill is to prevent an already conceived unborn child from implanting in the uterine walls, thus causing an abortion. It is the deliberate abortion of a fetus and it compounds the evil of the rape by making the baby a victim too.

  • Yes, so-called emergency contraception can prevent conception if it hasn’t occurred yet, but if it has it can also cause abortion. That is the reason for most people’s, including the Church’s, stance against it.

    And the “Church” did not okay the abortions in the 70s. Particular clerics in the Church did and did so against the Church’s clear teachings. Whatever the political expediency of exceptions for rape and incest, direct abortion is never licit or moral.

  • Annie,

    If I close my eyes shoot a gun into a crowded room, I don’t know if I’ll kill someone, but the fact that it’s possible or even likely means I shouldn’t. And if someone dies from my act, I am culpable.

    I won’t comment on the personal culpability of any particular person, but I will speak to the general case. If there is a reasonable expectation that an unborn child will be killed, then it shouldn’t be done.

    Causing an abortion may not be the first goal of the morning-after pill, but it is certainly the second goal. It is an abortifacient designed to prevent the birth of a child, whether by preventing conception or aborting the child.

    It may require courage and fortitude to bear a child out of rape, but then no one said living the Christian life was easy. I’m not making light of her pain. I’m just asking why the crime committed upon her should be visited upon her child. And that’s another point often missed in these discussions: the child is as much hers as it is the rapist’s. And why should the child die for the rapist’s crime?


    Once again, do not confuse “the Church” with her members. Priests and bishops (like the rest of us) are sinners. That fact does not invalidate the teaching. Their acts do not render the sins no longer sinful.

    As for birth control, Humanae Vitae is the authentic teaching authority of the Church. It is a binding teaching on all Catholics. The Pope does not have to use the words “ex cathedra” for it to be so.

    And the conscience only has primacy if it is properly formed. It is only properly formed if it coincides with the Truth as taught by the Church.  I would recommend a careful re-reading of the Catechism’s para. 1783-1785 on the formation of conscience. 1786 is also instructive: “Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.”

  • Ah but the key here is the pharmacist. He has no knowledge of the woman, her conscience, or her cycle. His conscience told him that he couldn’t give the “bullets” to woman if he didn’t know whether “the room was empty.” And it should be within his rights to decide that he will not participate.

    After all the woman was able to find another pharmacist who didn’t care whether she was pregnant or not.

  • The Church is the Body of Christ. The laws and rules of the Church are the Way, the Truth, and the Life that Christ imparted to the Apostles and which the Holy Spirit guards. If you profess to be Catholic, these are foundational truths.

    Adhering to the rules is not just ticket-punching. It is obedience to and love of Christ, who died for those of us who break those rules, i.e. those of us who sin, in order that we may be reconciled to the Father.

    You may disagree with PMC’s interpretation of your mother’s comments, but it doesn’t invalidate the Church’s teachings.

  • Okay, everyone’s had their say and before this degenerates into more uncharitable and unchristian fighting, let’s end it here. I think there is more agreement here than disagreement in any case.