Spitting mad.

Does this make anybody else spitting mad? This is the kind of crap that makes me grateful to live in Australia right now. As long as a drug is legal, a pharmacist should be required to dispense it. If you’re not happy with that, you shouldn’t be a pharmacist. Simple. I have a moral objection to Feathers yarn, but you don’t see me withholding it from customers, now do you?


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  1. Erm, you didn’t here about Merriwa (rural NSW) where the pharmacy won’t stock condoms? Aparently the pharmacists here can refuse to stock items if they can still reasonably be obtained. The supermarket next door to this pharmacy has condoms, so they’re safe.
    I totally agree though that pharmacists shouldn’t be able to withhold dispensing stuff – especially birth control because access to that is a fundamental human right.

  2. Not trying to be controversial, but is it not a private vendor’s right to choose what to sell and what not to sell? For example, if you were the proprietor of the yarn shop, is it not your right to not stock Feathers Yarn if you so wish, for whatever your reasons?

    Regulation comes into this also, with pharmaceuticals specifically, which we’ll no doubt be hearing a bit more about with the case in question…

  3. I agree feathers should be outlawed along with acrylic – think of all those pot acrils that died to make that vile substance

  4. True, Hank, but no one is prescribed Feathers as a possible issue of life and death. (At least, I hope not.) I’m also willing to accept that I can’t possibly know the reasoning behind every person that buys it. Perhaps it’s some fellow anti-Featherite who wants to create a piece of art criticizing the bourgoise. I have no idea. This metaphor has gone pretty far, hasn’t it?

    To get back to it, a pharmacy is not the same as any other shop. If I’m prevented by law by buying certain drugs without a prescription, I should also be reasonably assured by law of being able to procure any drugs my doctor prescribes. And I really, really resent the chemists’ assumption that they know why these women are requesting the drugs. My Depo Provera is necessary for my QUALITY OF LIFE, not because I’m a prostitute.

  5. It KILLS me that we women actually have to be concerned whether or not a pharmacist will dispense us our birth control and yet they’re showing multiple commercials about effing ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION during the Super Bowl, the most watched television event of the year.

  6. You know not everyone takes birth control for the sake of avoiding pregnancy. My sister has been on birth control for years to regulate her cycle because her body doesn’t do it by itself. If a drug is NOT approved by the FDA, don’t sell it. But if the FDA approves the drug, and a doctor prescribes the drug, then why does the pharmacist even get to have a say in the matter? The pharmacist did not treat the patient. He/she does not know the REASON a drug was prescribed. Not everyone is even taking the drug for the same reasons! It is pretty presumptious to me that the pharmacist can make “moral” decisions about something when they don’t even know the whole story. It seems to me that any business that is medical in nature (hospital, ER, physicians practice, pharmaceuticals, etc.) are making decisions about the health of others and this is a serious responsibility. However, taking the responsibility seriously and forcing moral judgment on another is intruding on their right to make free choices.

    I understand the point that maybe pharmacies should choose what to stock and what not to stock as they are a business. However, I would not be a happy person if I showed up in the ER and the Emergency Room doctor told me that because of his/her “personal convictions” or “moral objection” they weren’t using any anesthesia anymore and were going to stitch me with no pain killer. Hey, regardless of YOUR personal or moral objections, allow me my right to make my own choices based on MY moral convictions.

    In addition, what is moral to one may not be what is moral to another. Forcing a moral belief on others angers me. I have my moral convictions and objections in my job too (ie..no child left behind), but I still have to do my job as certified teacher. A pharmacist has a job to dispense drugs as prescribed by a doctor. It is NOT the pharmacists job to make moral decisions for patient.

  7. Well said, Frances. Also, what about those wacky Christian Scientist people who show up in the news every year because they don’t believe in modern medicine and one of their kids dies from a fever? What if one of THOSE guys was a pharmacist? Could he refuse to sell me ANYTHING AT ALL? Of course not, that’s ridiculous. But it’s just a matter of degree, isn’t it?

  8. The Snook just came up with a brilliant argument: He personally believe that antibiotics are way overprescribed and that this is one of the reasons modern diseases are getting stronger and more resilient. Therefore Snookums the Chemist has a moral objection to dispensing antibiotics to anyone who doesn’t have meningitis. Does any right-minded person think THAT is acceptable?

  9. Good idea Snook!
    Incidentally, if I choose not to sell my products/services to somebody, I have the right to make that moral choice (so long as it doesn’t break the law), it doesn’t mean I’m forcing a moral belief on someone else, it means I’m standing up for my own moral belief. My moral belief may not please everybody, but that’s my right to my own beliefs.
    In this case, a health issue should have strict regulation – but at the moment, pharmaceuticals often seem to be more governed by market principles. In which case the immediate recourse is (where possible) to take your business elsewhere.

  10. btw, I’m not sure I consider myself right-minded 🙂 And I think I wouldn’t be so sure about people that went around proclaiming themselves as right-minded…

  11. That’s the problem though, the whole “take your business elsewhere” thing. It’s fine in Sydney, but what about out in the bush or in Bumf**k, USA (where I live), where the local pharmacy may be the only one available? Unfortunately these have a tendency to be the ones where uptight local Moral Citizens Brigade pharmacists decide not to carry contraceptives. (And funny enough, it’s also where a lot of girls get knocked up early and large poverty-stricken families are the norm.) Rock on “market principles,” huh?

  12. Free market dynamics and social darwinism do tend to go hand-in-hand I notice. I’d also hazard a guess that this is probably one of the many reasons you don’t currently live in Bumf**k USA? They should probably regulate pharmaceuticals *more* but I’m sure you’ll stil have the same problems with the Moral Citizens Brigade in many other areas… (can anyone say abortion clinics?)

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