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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Open Season On Freedom

  Freedom of religious practice often comes in conflict  with day-to-day life. Some folks attempt to use religion to exempt themselves from having to do the job they have signed up to do when circumstances become uncomfortable. Recently, Canada's Saskatchewan province mandated that civil marriage practitioners could not use the discomfort factor in refusing to perform same-sex marriages, but the theocracy to the South seems to be going in an opposite direction when so-called morals issues are at play.

  Idaho is a state that recently enacted a measure that stated health-care providers could refuse to provide end-of-life care and abortifacient drugs, among other things, if the person's religious dogmatism and job conflicted. Recently, a report was made that a pharmacist refused to fill a prescription for Methergene, a drug that stops dangerous uterine bleeding. The pharmacist called the prescribing practitioner, and when she refused to violate privilege by stating the purpose of the drug, the pharmacist refused to fill the prescription just in case the woman had an abortion. The pharmacist's conscience stated that she had no problem with a woman bleeding to death for just penalty of the crime of owning a bleeding uterus to the point that she wouldn't even refer the patient to another pharmacy.

  It is just a matter of time before someone dies because of doctors and pharmacists who violate HIPAA codes based on their so-called morality. The political tide has become so anti-choice and sexist that women's lives are actually in the balance here. It absolutely does not matter if the woman in question had an abortion; abortion is a legal procedure which occurs for a variety of reasons and it is not up to the pharmacist to act as judge, jury, and executioner.

  So-called conscience clauses make it okay for someone's personal feelings on specific issues to affect their professional responsibilities. In most countries, a doctor or pharmacist wouldn't even think of denying an adult access to birth control, but in a growing number of states refusal is becoming more wide-spread. This case is one of many that pit a scientist against their scientific foundation; religion against a human being. It is instances like this that cause the slippery slope to theocracy. The public lynchings of the past bore pseudoreligious justification and today's victims just happen to be an entire gender. This pharmacist clearly stated that by refusing to fill a prescription for a life-saving drug that she wasn't pro-life, but anti-choice.

Ask Walgreens to properly train employees on the nature of the opt-out clause

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