Pharmacists must not put their religion ahead of our medicine
November 1, 2005
With an illegal drug war waging ferociously in our nation, where do our lawmakers put their attention? To legal, prescribed drugs, that’s where. You know, behind-the-counter medication.
These particular lawmakers are ones who have introduced a bill that would grant pharmacists the legal right to refuse birth control prescriptions if it violates their religious or moral beliefs. In several instances throughout the United States, it appears that some pharmacists have overstepped their bounds by refusing to fill birth control prescriptions of customers.
These are valid medical prescriptions! These particular pharmacists (not all pharmacists!) who are apparently Right To Lifers are not the primary gatekeepers of anyone’s life. They put pills in vials, and sometimes I’ll wager they can’t even get that right. These same pharmacists with moral and religious feelings that are so easily hurt have just found a way to artificially exercise the legitimate medical authority of a doctor, like a church usher who thinks he’s a priest for an hour once a week. You’re substitute teachers sitting in for study hall, but you now may have a chance to claim yourself as a doctor – but only for birth control – your 15 minutes of Andy Warhol’s theoretic stage of the common man’s fame reduced to five minutes or less.
So does this mean that soon a Jewish waiter will be refusing a Catholic customer a plate of pork because he sees it as a conflict of his religious dogma? Pharmacists have no right to refuse a patient with an authorized prescription for ANYTHING! And the lawmakers who are responsible for listening to these “I am God” pretenders? They obviously have nothing better to do, because they’re too chickens**t to aggressively take on rapists and murderers with laws that will refuse these violent bastards a continuation of their lives since their only purpose on earth is to deprive others of theirs.
I can see it now. Pharmacists soon refusing the clinically depressed anti-depressant medication because they feel that a proper diet and exercise are sufficient for the customer to change their “bad day” to a good one.
I’m not bashing all pharmacists. That is not my intent. I am friends with many pharmacists from my hometown, whom I respect because they were like doctors to me when I was a kid. They were respectable and honorable. But they never once refused or even questioned any prescribed medication.
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Doctors are doctors for a reason. Like a priest, they have a special power. A priest can show the way of healing through prayer. A doctor’s hands are gifted and blessed to save lives. No, I am not bashing all pharmacists. A far cry. I am, however, holding those pharmacists who have taken it upon themselves to refuse a customer their legal right to receive a professionally prescribed medication up for my own public display of disgust.
Just because you get to wear a white outer garment and sell medications along with toilet paper and Snickers bars doesn’t mean you can start operating on the ethics of another person’s health-related decision, especially if it is supported by his or her doctor. If these pharmacists are experiencing low esteem because they didn’t buy enough books to become a doctor, then shut the hell up and go back to school. I’m sure the school bookstore has a job available where you can continue to sell soda, hairspray and TV Guides. They might even allow you to wear your little white coats too.
If filling certain prescriptions offends your religious or moral belief, here is what you should do:
1) Find another job.
2) Find another religion.
3) Isolate yourself in the basement of a church for days on end. I’ll be there to applaud your morality.
To the lawmakers who found another easy task of submitting a nonsensical bill that allows pharmacists to pretend they are God and country for the moment, and making themselves look stupid, you all need to go back to school too. Face the excessive violence and serious drug addictions that we see, and do something about it. What’s next? The abolition of Flintstones vitamins because Fred and his Bedrock friends all wear animal skins of endangered species?
n John DiMambro is publisher of the Nevada Appeal. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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