What might happen when a pharmacist uses a conscience clause?

January 16, 2012

A conscience clause — when might a pharmacist feel conflicted about¬†filling a prescription? The most commonly discussed event is birth control. Birth control pills, the morning after pill… these medications cause feelings of conflict between values related to pro-life and anti-abortion, and dispensing the medications.

The store, Target, supports a pharmacist’s rights not to fill these prescriptions. However, a pharmacist must direct a consumer to another Target store where the prescription can be filled. I can find no research that has been done to see how such conversations might take place or what happens when — as in the town where I live — there is one Target store. I don’t know if there is more than one pharmacist there. I don’t know if any of them object to filling these prescriptions. But if they do, what happens? How would I know? Who would tell me?

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