May 26, 2005

Pharmaceutical Ethics

Heard a talk show host castigating a pharmacist for wanting the right not to have to fill a prescription for what I assume was the morning after pill. The talk show host, Mike McConnell, says if he doesn't want to fill a legal prescription then he should sacrifice his job. He said early Christians died for the faith and now they won't sacrifice their job. The pharmacist replied that doctors don't have to perform abortions but McConnell said that that's because their job allows specialization while a pharmacist job does not. The pharmacist said that when he signed up he wasn't signing up to fill death pills - i.e. they changed the rules. McConnell countered that perhaps there were early Christians became Christians before the rules changed on whether you could be a Christian.

It's an interesting subject. Obviously a pharmacy owner doesn't have to stock what it doesn't want to stock and the government shouldn't be allowed to force them. But should that worker's right be respected and keep that particular job? I'm sympathetic to McConnell's point. Yet in our age we seem to accommodate a person's conscience as long as they're not a Christian. What the pharmacists need to do is just find a American Indian who can't fill a certain prescription and let them represent them in court. Teehee.

From Pope John Paul II in Centesimus Annus:
Authentic democracy is possible only in a state ruled by law, and on the basis of a correct conception of the human person. It requires that the necessary conditions be present for the advancement both of the individual through education and formation in true ideals, and of the “subjectivity” of society through the creation of structures of participation and shared responsibility. Nowadays there is a tendency to claim that agnosticism and skeptical relativism are the philosophy and the basic attitude which correspond to democratic forms of political life. Those who are convinced that they know the truth and firmly adhere to it are considered unreliable from a democratic point of view, since they do not accept that truth is determined by the majority, or that it is subject to variation according to different political trends. It must be observed in this regard that if there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.
Update: Looks like Amy and her posse have already covered this topic in depth.

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