Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pharmacist refuses to give contraceptive pills to patient

An important matter of principle was aired on the news today and covered in today's Daily Mail. As one who preaches when appropriate about the Church's teaching on contraception and that doctors and pharmacists should not co-operate in this evil, I instinctively rush to the defence of someone like this pharmacist who has acted in accordance with her religious principles. The patient in the report claims that she was prescribed the pill for period pains, yet she goes on to claim the right of her young daughter to contraception to avoid pregnancy. So the pharmacist was, I think, right. Go and support her - the Daily Mail is running a poll: "Should pharmacists have the right to refuse to give out contraceptive pills?" At the moment it's 10% yes, 90% no.


  1. I think the pharmacist was right.

    However, it is my understanding that a practising Catholic woman CAN take Birth Control pills if for legitimate reasons *other than* to practise contraception.

    As far as I can tell the reason she'd been prescribed the pill was not for its contraceptive value per se, but for other factors.

    She may have rattled on about her own daughters "right" to contracept, however that bit of it is irrelevant to the reason that the doctor prescribed the pill. [Assuming a secondary reason wasn't also "to contracept."] I.E. if for NON-contraceptive purposes only, then if she were Catholic, she'd be okay according to church teaching, for her to take it. But if she said "can I be given the pill so that I may get rid of problem X AND contracept so I don't have to take two separate pills" - which, I think, would be wrong.

    Not unlike, as I understand it, as if a woman had a cancerous womb, and happened to be pregnant, she would be allowed to have an operation to remove the womb, even if a secondary effect would be the child dying. I.E. the operation done was not for the purposes of killing the child, but for the purpose of getting rid of the cancer.

    Please correct me on these points if I am wrong.

    [REGARDLESS, I think that if it was in the pharmacists own mind that what she was doing was wrong, be she Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Hottentot or other, she was within her rights.]

  2. Yes, but the problem with contraception is that it is also abortifacient and could have the consequence of (a) conraceptive sexual intercourse (b) abortion. A medical ethics expert would be able to advise more thoroughly.

    As for your "regardless" I'm not sure that this is absolutely so as we each have an obligation to inform our consciences and not deny rights to others by an over-sensitive conscience. However, tolerance all round is what is needed: I wouldn't be offended if a Jew refused to serve me pork in a restaurant or in a supermarket. I'd rather admire them for sticking up for their principles.

  3. Why should Pharmacists be put under the pressure of this moral dilemma simply because the Government sees fit to finance promiscuity!

    I believe that the NHS's financial problems could be solved at a stroke if funding contraception in all it's forms was something that the 'patients' had to pay for themselves. And frankly - I believe that if you want to use contraceptives you should flippin' well pay for them.

    Let's face it - pregnancy is NOT a disease!!!

    Why does the tax payer have to fund the contraceptors? Most of the 'stuff' is used for promiscuous activity and other dodgy sexual activities and all this must suck £billions out of the Treasury for NHS funding. Never mind the fact that easy and free access simply fuels more promiscuous behaviour and with that the further spread of STD's and more abortion. Oh yes - Marie Stopes and IPPF are laughing all the way to their bank.

    They should stick to keeping actual Medicines FREE on the NHS - you know the stuff that helps cure infections and diseases and alleviates pain in chronic illness.

    As stated already pregnancy is not a disease and if husband and wife wish to space their children for financial or other reasons then within a stable marriage the use of Natural Family Planning works brilliantly! And that is FREE - because God has designed the human body with all these special mechanisms built in!

  4. Well, I haven't had a chance to read this link yet, but it may shed some light on the subject. I know some "pills" like the morning after pill are always abortifacients, but not necessarly all.. A quick look at the first few paragraphs seems to indicate that sometimes it depends on dossage.

    the article presented is by pro-life physicians. If you have a chance I'd like to know what you think of it. When I took philosophy in my late high school years, I remember our Dominican Brother spending some length of time on the morality behind "double effect." But since birth control has always been a moot point for me personally (since I never have nor have intended to use it), I'm not up to date on what any given "pill" (and I expect there are quite a variety now as compared to the early 1970s) does. I'll get a chance to read it in more detail - perhaps later tonight. Now I know these physicians are speaking for the church necessarily, but I just thought this might be a good medical/scientific overview.

  5. Very interesting and enlightening, something for the experts to thrash out. But non-abortifacient contraception is still an evil that no one should be forced to co-operate in. The presumed purpose of contraception is to enable the consumer to enjoy the sexual act without the natural consequence of a child.

  6. Oh, I'd agree non-abortifacient contraception is still an evil -- but AFAIK, if a pharmacist DOES know that the reason the "pill" was prescribed was for something not to do with contraception (and the pill isn't an abortifacient) the Catholic pharmacist could dispense it with a free conscience. That was the point I was getting at. I'd think in that case the contraceptive effect would fall under the "it doesn't count because the reason for giving it wasn't to cause that effect" --- i.e. the double effect rigamarole being in effect.


Please avoid being 'anonymous' if at all possible.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...