More on "Moral Refusal" and women
dogemperor printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon May 08, 2006 at 11:33:14 AM EST
(This is a repost of an article I have previously posted in my diary here, which contains original comments.)

Of particular interest is a new article in the (Seattle) Stranger which involves yet another case of "moral refusal" involving pharmacists, the first time a women's clinic is filing malpractice claims to protect the rights of their patients to receive care...and some ugly confirmation of trends that I've noted in two previous articles in this series.

I noted in two previous articles--"Every Zygote is Sacred", or "Can I have my birth control, already?" and "Moral Refusal" extends to healthcare in general--on how the increasing use of "conscience clauses" by pharmacists and other professionals puts not only women obtaining "The Pill" and Plan B at risk, but potentially all medical aid and care for certain populations (people who have to take drugs of which one medical indication is for STDs, HIV patients, and LGBT people period).

The Stranger article gives disturbing confirmation of a trend wherein dominionist medical care professionals are now starting to refuse to give even lifesaving, medically indicated drugs which cannot be used to induce abortion because a women's clinic was involved somewhere in the process:

Cedar River Clinics, a women's health and abortion provider with facilities in Renton, Tacoma, and Yakima, filed a complaint with the Washington State Department of Health this week alleging three instances where pharmacists raising moral objections refused to fill prescriptions for Cedar River clients. The complaint includes one incident at the Swedish Medical Center outpatient pharmacy in Seattle. According to the complaint, someone at the Swedish pharmacy said she was "morally unable" to fill a Cedar River patient's prescription for abortion-related antibiotics. Cedar River's complaint quotes its Renton clinic manager's May 17, 2005, e-mail account: "Today, one of our clients asked us to call in her prescription... to Swedish outpatient pharmacy. [We] called the prescription in... and spoke with an efficient staff person who took down the prescription. A few minutes later, this pharmacy person called us back and told us she had found out who we were and she morally was unable to fill the prescription." (Cedar River thinks their client eventually got her prescription filled.)

Cedar River's complaint, dated April 10, summarizes: "In each of the situations, we believe the pharmacist displayed behavior that was biased, unprofessional, and unethical. We are concerned that this type of poor treatment may be becoming a trend."



Yes, you read that right.  The patient was refused--not Plan B, not "the pill", not Zovirax--but antibiotics designed to prevent a septic abortion.

The article continues:

The complaint also includes an incident from November 2005 in Yakima, in which a pharmacist at a Safeway reportedly refused to fill a Cedar River patient's prescription for pregnancy-related vitamins. The pharmacist reportedly asked the customer why she had gone to Cedar River Clinics and then told the patient she "didn't need them if she wasn't pregnant."


Yes, a dominionist pharmacist assumed a woman who went to a women's clinic went there to have an abortion and refused her medically indicated prenatal support on that basis alone.  (The old yarn telling people to "assume" on the basis it "makes an ass out of U and me" comes to mind.)

No matter that a lot of poor women go to those clinics NOT to have abortions but to have prenatal checkups to make sure the babies they plan to bring into the world have the best start.

 
In fact, in many cases, refusal to give them antibiotics can prevent them from ever having babies--non-abortion indications for antibiotics include treatment of some STDs (such as chlamydia and gonorrhea) which can destroy fertility as well as non-STD, non-abortion related uterine infections that can prevent women from becoming pregnant.  There's also at least one indication that antibiotic treatment is lifesaving that doesn't involve abortions at all--syphilis is curable if caught in the early stages with antibiotics, but if untreated leads to insanity, disfigurement and eventual death.

The article notes this is such a severe problem in Washington State that the state pharmacy board is considering dropping the whole concept of "conscience clauses":

Next week, the Washington State Board of Pharmacy (WSBP) will begin deliberating on rules that will determine whether pharmacists can cite "conscientious, moral, or religious reasons" in refusing to fill prescriptions for drugs like Plan B, the well-known emergency contraception pill. The board hopes to have rules in place as early as this summer.

The seven-member board, appointed by the governor, issues pharmacist licenses and regulates pharmacists statewide. Obviously, if the board allows individual pharmacists to withhold medication on moral grounds, it will have implications beyond a woman's access to things like Plan B, antibiotics, or vitamins. For example, self-righteous pharmacists could prevent a woman from getting birth control pills if she couldn't supply a marriage license; prevent a recovering alcoholic from getting Antabuse; or stop someone from getting an AIDS cocktail.



This is not just an idle worry--dominionist pharmacists have refused to dispense "the Pill" at all to women (because of the claims in the "pro-life" community that "the pill" and any other drug or device that potentially prevents implantation is an abortifacient--claiming pregnancy starts at fertilisation rather than implantation) and at the beginning of the HIV crisis there were pharmacists who were refusing to dispense the drug cocktails necessary for treatment.  (In fact, at least one state senator from Alabama--Hank Erwin, a radio-preacher -cum-politician who has connections with Roy Moore and even claimed that Hurricane Katrina was an act of divine retribution--has pushed for legislation mandating labels on all HIV medication admonishing users to practice a "more responsible lifestyle".

The usual players seem to be involved in this case fighting against this--the Alliance Defense Fund (not entirely surprising) is fighting for "conscience clauses" and their expansion, whilst the Northwest Women's Law Center is filing briefs showing a pattern where people are refused care:

"Pharmacists should not be able to elevate their personal beliefs over the needs of the patient," says Amy Luftig, deputy director of public policy at Planned Parenthood Network of Washington. Luftig offered several anecdotes of refusal stories--including one of a young couple seeking emergency contraception in the Central District who were lectured by the pharmacist about sex--but says most women are too embarrassed or stigmatized to go public with a complaint like the one Cedar River filed on behalf of its clients. (Indeed, until this week, pharmacy board director Steven Saxe says, the board had not received any complaints.) Luftig says Planned Parenthood is now posting signs in its clinics asking people for their refusal stories.



Display:
Are misnamed, and a pharmacist should know that.  They're taken before pregnancy by women trying to conceive, during pregnancy, and after it by women who are breastfeeding.  Refusing them on the grounds that you don't need them if you're not pregnant is ignorant as well as unprofessional.

by velvetpage on Sun Jun 18, 2006 at 08:10:59 AM EST


WWW Talk To Action


Sins Of Omission: When Religious Right Leaders Speak, The Whole Truth Is Often Left Behind
When an individual doesn't feel like being absolutely truthful, there are a couple of things he or she can do. One is to simply......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Bishop Finn Under Vatican Investigation
Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has long been a symbol of the ongoing institutional intransigence in addressing......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
"The $1-Billion-a-Year [Religious] Right-Wing Conspiracy You Haven't Heard Of"
In honor of the 2014 incarnation of the event known as The Gathering, I've given an interview with Jay Michaelson, writing for the Daily......
By Bruce Wilson (4 comments)
(Un)Fantastic Five: A Remembrance Of Values Voter Summits Past
The Religious Right's annual "Values Voter Summit" (VVS) takes place this weekend. Americans United staffers Simon Brown, Sarah Jones and I will be there.......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
The Christian Right's Voter Mobilization Strategy for 2014
My latest post at Political Research Associates is about how this weekend's Values Voter Summit fits into the Christian Right's wider electoral strategy for......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
NYT's David Brooks to Speak at Antigay Luncheon of Billionaires Who Fund Racist Preacher
Recently, government-encouraged outbreaks of mob violence against LGBT persons in countries from Uganda to Russia, and draconian new anti-gay legislation in those countries too,......
By Bruce Wilson (2 comments)
D'Souza's Downfall: Religious Right Favorite Sentenced For Campaign Donation Violations
Yesterday conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza was sentenced to five years of probation and a term of community service for violating federal campaign laws. He......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Short Takes -- Taking Action Edition
Banned Books Week is being celebrated this year from Sept. 21-27.  Yes its time for the annual celebration of the Freedom to Read, sponsored......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Archbishop Schnurr Throws Cold Water on the Ice Bucket Challenge
The Ice Bucket Challenge has been an outstanding success in raising both awareness and research money needed to find a cure for Amyotrophic lateral......
By Frank Cocozzelli (1 comment)
The Secret Antigay U.S. Money Behind The WCF and the Global Evangelical War on LGBT Rights
[note to readers: this is an excerpt from my first installment in a Twocare.org/Center Against Religious Extremism series that will examine extensive ties -......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Race as Religion
Reading Edith Beer's book, The Nazi Officer's Wife, I ran across an interesting account of her fake marriage license.  She married a Nazi officer......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Dark Discussions on the Christian Right
The Neo-Confederate movement has been trying to jump start itself of late.  It has been an especially heady few months for the League of......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Oath Oaf: Religious Right Columnist Calls For Religious Tests In Military
Bryan Fischer, the director of issues analysis for the American Family Association (AFA) is like a demented, right-wing geyser: You can count on him......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Deeper Background on Dominionism -- Revisisted
In the Fall of 2011, there was an extraordinary -- and extraordinarily scurrilous -- wave of criticism aimed at those of us who had......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Fall From Grace: What The Religious Right Should Learn From The McDonnell Scandal
Leaders of Religious Right groups are fond of telling us that if we elect more fundamentalist Christians to office, we'll have less corruption. Biblical......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)

Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (3 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.