Pharmacist “rights”

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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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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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