I’ve written often about the ethics of doctors and pharmacists imposing their own morals on their patients and customers. Our Sb pharmacologist has as well. And even though all of our legitimate professional organizations recognize this line, Bush’s Department of Health and Human Services has jumped into the ring to join a fight that should never have started. And just to demonstrate how single-mindedly idiotic an evangelical (small “e”) mindset can be when applied to medicine, PZ Myers, uber-atheist, received an interesting solicitation (please, don’t quote-mine that).
To remind you of the issue at hand, there are a number of doctors and pharmacists out there who think that their own religious beliefs should trump the standards of good medical care and the needs of their patients. This is why I write of “evangelism”: professionals who are trying to teach the Good Word (any Good Word) to their patients have stepped very far over an ethical line.
Soliciting PZ Myers for a religious issue—wow. That’s bringing the stupid. Perhaps it was just an email list, but still…wow.
But I think that, with this issue, my righteous anger might even outshine PZ’s. This pharmacist makes all the usual mistakes of conflating contraception and abortion, but the biggest mistake is thinking that ANY OF HIS CUSTOMERS NEEDING THIS MEDICATION GIVES A SHIT WHAT HE THINKS. His job is to dispense safe, lawfully written prescriptions. If he can’t do that, he needs to find a new job. Also, he should consider shutting the fuck up on his evangelical tour of lies. I’m pretty sure lying isn’t a particularly Christian value. If he’s against birth control, he should grow a pair and admit it, rather than trying to pass it off as some mysterious type of abortion.
Which leads me to the “what can little ole me do?” part. You have a job, and that job is to help stop people like this from interfering with your health care.
Until September 20th, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt is taking public comments on his proposal to allow this kind of bullshit. One nice comment is here. Hurry up and write.