Pharmacist "rights"

| Wed Mar. 30, 2005 3:50 PM EST

Heh. I was trying to think of a clever take on this old Washington Post story about pharmacists who want the "right" to refuse to fill birth-control prescriptions. But no, Professor B got it exactly right:

If you have a problem providing health care to anyone, on moral grounds, then do something else for a living.

Quoting the Hippocratic Oath—"I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings"—is good too. More to the point, the whole idea of a "conscience clause"—in which pharmacists don't have to fill any prescriptions that violate their beliefs—is ripe for all sorts of slippery-slope extensions. Why not a "conscience clause" for teachers who, say, don't want to teach dirty kids? Why not a "conscience clause" for doctors who, say, don't want to operate on a patient that might have sinned? Oh, right, because it's ridiculous, that's why.

UPDATE: The pseudonymous Shakespeare's Sister brings up a very good point: "[H]ow long do you think it will be before those healthcare providers who accept commonly discriminated-against patients raise their fees? How long before the insurance industry hikes up their premiums? I mean, what greater health risk is there than being someone a whole slew of doctors refuses to treat?

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