There’s an interesting and confused article called Pharmacy Wars, which should be read in order to understand the reason for posting this article.
A conscience clause is not “a pharmacists right to deny service based upon his personal belief”.
There are many kinds of conscience clauses contained in law which may excuse various medical professionals from involvement in participating in the act of killing a human. Such a thing is attached to the law allowing medically assisted suicide in Oregon. Pharmacists are not required to dispense medication for that purpose, for example. A very few states have laws which excuse pharmacists from dispensing drugs which kill humans very early in development. In most areas, pharmacists will refuse to dispense for that purpose based upon long standing legal protection of religious freedom and conscientious objection to killing. There have been some requirements for signage to be placed at pharmacies in which the pharmacist has a conscientious objection to killing, which are not related to any new legal protections of the human right not to willfully kill others.
I am eager to hear of any specific cases in which a pharmacist refused to dispense life saving medication citing the laws which protect him from being forced to help kill another human. The laws are actually unrelated to this. I have heard of none thus far. The author of this article appears to know of such things and can perhaps provide the references.
HIV patients tend to gravitate towards specialized pharmacists for treatment, as their problems are complex, and the anti-retrovirals have many drug and food interactions which must be juggled for the patient’s safety. Pharmacists in some states are required to take continuing ed in this topic, but it is really a subspecialty of pharmacy as is oncology, for example.
It is not the pharmaceutical industry, but rather academia and state and federal law which influenced the placement of pharmacists more prominently between the physician and patient. Pharmacists are educated that they are morally, civilly or even criminally liable for not addressing safety hazards of medication therapy and stopping medication errors.
A non-traditional Pharm D is not a bachelors degree. It requires graduate education after obtaining the pharmacy degree and license. Non traditional means that it is likely done partially on-line, partially in the classroom and with a different array of experience to make up the clinical requirement.
If one medical professional trashes another medical professional when speaking to a patient, he runs the risk of legal reprisal for anything said which is not completely accurate. He also runs the risk of violating the privacy of other patients.
The standards of safety regarding any drug, and the legal requirements for prescribing and dispensing it can be altered at any time, and when pharmacists become aware of it, they often have to give the patients and the physicians the bad news. This is usually greeted with resentment.
One recent example is the sudden removal of propoxyphine/acetaminophen from the market based upon 53 years of aftermarket experience. It has been decided that the drug bears too much risk for causing cardiac arrhythmia relative to its rather modest potential for pain relief. Some physicians were not at all pleased to hear this news, and might have had a temper tantrum similar to the one to which the author above alludes.
The article, Pharmacy Wars, is filled with so many inaccuracies regarding the function of pharmacists, and the driving forces behind them, that one wonders about the accuracy of the story regarding the pharmacists interaction with the physician.
I do not frequent the subversify blog, but was directed there to append some pertinent information to an article which misrepresented the purpose and function of existing conscience laws.