Pharmacist refuses to give mother, 38, contraceptive pills for period pain 'because of her religion'

A pharmacist refused to serve a mother-of-two with a prescription for the contraceptive pill because it went against her religious beliefs.

Shocked Janine Deeley, 38, initially thought the female pharmacist must be joking, but became angry when she was told to try another chemist or come back the next day when someone else was on duty.

Miss Deeley said she is prescribed the pill by her GP because she suffers from a condition which causes painful periods.

Read more: dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1256602/Pharmacist-refuses-mother-38-contraceptive-pills-religion.html#ixzz0hhiXyYnK

[quote="lemonbeam, post:1, topic:189982"]
Read more: dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1256602/Pharmacist-refuses-mother-38-contraceptive-pills-religion.html#ixzz0hhiXyYnK

[/quote]

Those pills are not simply for contraception. When my wife was in college, well before our marriage, she had to take a certain contraceptive for a condition that had caused her irregular menses.

I don't see how this is big news, at least from an American standpoint... that kind of thing happens all the time here, at least in the states which allow for such. Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and South Dakota have similar provisions in their conscience clauses that allow pharmacists to refuse to sell contraceptives.

Likewise major American pharmacies such as CVS, Walmart and Target allow their pharmacists to choose not to dispense birth control pills in these jurisdictions. Some, such as Target, require the objecting pharmacist to recommend another Target location that will dispense the medication.

[quote="Havard, post:3, topic:189982"]
I don't see how this is big news, at least from an American standpoint... that kind of thing happens all the time here, at least in the states which allow for such.

[/quote]

But the UK doesn't have a law which provides a right of religious refusal. And I think that in US states which also don't have such a law, such a case would be considered newsworthy, too.

[quote="Dale_M, post:4, topic:189982"]
But the UK doesn't have a law which provides a right of religious refusal. And I think that in US states which also don't have such a law, such a case would be considered newsworthy, too.

[/quote]

Are you sure? From the article:

"The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) said the pharmacist was acting within her rights."

The RPSGB is the statutory regulatory body for pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians in England, Scotland and Wales.

Havard, here is what the spokesman for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain said:

The spokesman said:‘While the Code of Ethics and Standards does not require a pharmacist to provide a service that is contrary to their religious or moral beliefs, any attempt by a pharmacist to impose their beliefs on a member of the public seeking their professional guidance, or a failure to have systems in place to advise of alternative sources for the service required, would be of great concern to the RPSGB and could form the basis of a complaint of professional misconduct.’

The situation doesn’t sound cut and dried, if the organization thinks professional misconduct might be involved And the fact that the pharmacy chain and the NHS are planning investigations also point to a lack of legal precedent for this incident.

A professional code of ethics is not the same thing as legislation.

[quote="Dale_M, post:6, topic:189982"]
Havard, here is what the spokesman for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain said:

The situation doesn't sound cut and dried, if the organization thinks professional misconduct might be involved And the fact that the pharmacy chain and the NHS are planning investigations also point to a lack of legal precedent for this incident.

A professional code of ethics is not the same thing as legislation.

[/quote]

Your quote doesn't discount what Havard posted.

any attempt by a pharmacist to impose their beliefs on a member of the public seeking their professional guidance, or a failure to have systems in place to advise of alternative sources for the service required,

The pharmacist did not attempt to impose her beliefs, and she did advise of alternative sources (i.e. another chemist or come back tomorrow).

This is a non-issue. Miss Deeley can get her contraceptives elsewhere.

[quote="lemonbeam, post:1, topic:189982"]
Read more: dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1256602/Pharmacist-refuses-mother-38-contraceptive-pills-religion.html#ixzz0hhiXyYnK

[/quote]

She needs to get another job. She knew damn well when she became a pharmacist that she was going to be asked to fill these kinds of scripts.

Legislation has nothing to do with it. This is administrative law. I’ll say it again: the RPSGB is a governmental regulatory body.

Perhaps you are confusing the RPSGB with something like the American Pharmacists Association, which is purely a professional society?

[quote="Lutheranteach, post:8, topic:189982"]
She needs to get another job. She knew damn well when she became a pharmacist that she was going to be asked to fill these kinds of scripts.

[/quote]

Refusing to sell contraceptives is within her legal rights, as well as it is in accordance with her employer's policy. I don't know what you're so riled up about. :shrug:

If this store or any store is going to have a pharmacist like this on the counter then they need to provide someone as back up to do the job she won't for when situations like this arise. Not just someone who shrugs their shoulders and says; 'I don't believe its right'. Not be told to simply; 'Come back tomorrow.' Not just a recommendation of another Target or Walgreens or whatever one town over where people perform the duties they were hired for, but another person, right there, at that counter to dispense the prescribed medicine.

[quote="Havard, post:9, topic:189982"]
Legislation has nothing to do with it. This is administrative law. I'll say it again: the RPSGB is a governmental regulatory body.

Perhaps you are confusing the RPSGB with something like the American Pharmacists Association, which is purely a professional society?

[/quote]

Havard, I am sure you have greater experience with UK governance than I do.

The Code of Ethics spells out seven principles which must be followed or risk losing one's professional registration.
rpsgb.org.uk/pdfs/coeppt.pdf

In the section explaining how those principles should be applied, is specific mention justifying what the pharmacist did.

3.4 Ensure that if your religious or moral beliefs prevent you from providing a particular professional service, the relevant persons or authorities are informed of this and patients are referred to alternative providers for the service they require.

The article you cited in the first post indicates that the pharmacist did follow that guideline, which explains why the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said he was within his rights.

I apologize for my confusion, for doubting you and for misleading anyone.

So yes, it does seem strange that this incident made the news. I wouldn't think it to be an unusual occurrence if religious objection is specifically mentioned in the Code.

[quote="Lutheranteach, post:8, topic:189982"]
She needs to get another job. She knew damn well when she became a pharmacist that she was going to be asked to fill these kinds of scripts.

[/quote]

How bout if she was told she had to dispense arsenic pills? Does she have a right to refuse?

Dale, your confusion is completely understandable, since American pharmacists are (or more likely, are not) protected by state law, not federal regulatory bodies.

To add further to the confusion, the RPSBG does have a professional society component to it, making it deceptively appear akin to the likes of the American Pharmacists Association. The British government plans to separate the RPSBG into two distinct bodies in the future, a professional society and a regulatory agency.

As to why this made the news, the customer appears to be worked up about being unduly publicly embarrassed. It is possible that the pharmacist could have been indiscreet. From the article, it’s hard to tell. I don’t get the impression that the pharmacist was imposing her beliefs upon the customer, but the finding of that is yet to be determined.

Why is it news? Because it's the Daily Mail, of course, and the Daily Mail, like CAF sometimes, provides readers with daily miracles in the form of the transformation of mole hills into mountains.

[quote="Kaninchen, post:15, topic:189982"]
Why is it news? Because it's the Daily Mail, of course, and the Daily Mail, like CAF sometimes, provides readers with daily miracles in the form of the transformation of mole hills into mountains.

[/quote]

OK, we all know what you think of the mail, but what Brit news sources should we pay attention to? I usually look at the BBC & the Telegraph.

[quote="Kaninchen, post:15, topic:189982"]
Why is it news? Because it's the Daily Mail, of course, and the Daily Mail, like CAF sometimes, provides readers with daily miracles in the form of the transformation of mole hills into mountains.

[/quote]

Someone left the Daily Mail on my office desk at work today. Probably one of the eejits from head office after their 'conference'. I think writing the Daily Mail would be very simple, simply fill a tombola with some pieces of paper on which the following words were scrawled:-

Muslims
Foreigners
Jobs
Immigration
Fundamentalists
British values
Taking
Women

add a few others and Bob's your mother' brother. Simply draw any four or five and arrange as suits. Pharmacists are well within their rights to refuse to dispense contraceptives so long (as others have pointed out) they supply details of an alternative pharmacist. The fact that most people in the UK are themselves unaware of this leads to these little two line stories on occassion in the papers here.

Reminds me of the old ‘perfect tabloid headline’ games - ‘Sex-change Vicar in Palace Corgi Mercy Dash!’ sort of thing.

Yes, obviously as a Catholic I am going to be in favour of the laws but I don't see why people of any faith get worked up over the issue. The law allows both Catholics and non-Catholic who work as pharmacists to act in ways that are in keeping with their faith.

Years ago one could avoid going to war by being a "conscientious objector" - refusing to take a life.

Today you can go to jail for being a "conscientious objector" for refusing to take a life.

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