Do Pharmacists Have a Right to Refuse to Fill Prescriptions for Abortifacient Drugs?
Weinstein, Bruce D.
Law, Medicine and Health Care. 1992 Fall; 20(3): 220-223.
While Bruce Weinstein's paper provides an ethical framework for analyzing the question whether pharmacists in particular have a right to refuse to fill prescriptions for abortifacient drugs, his discussion will be useful to many other health professionals struggling with the moral aspects of abortion. The author explains that the answer to the question can turn on the professional model of the physician-pharmacist-client relationship that one applies. If one believes that the pharmacist has a contractual relationship with the client through the libertarian model of professionalism, then the pharmacist can freely negotiate, and has no moral obligation to fill a prescription. If, however, the pharmacist is bound by what is called a guild model of professionalism, then the pharmacist can refuse only if the profession makes allowances for conscientious objection. In the third model, the pharmaceutical technician model, the pharmacist is the technician of the physician, and is bound to fill the prescription the physician writes. Finally, in the societal model, the refusals a pharmacist can express are only those authorized by society.
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A Bill to Establish Certain Duties for Pharmacies When Pharmacists Employed by the Pharmacies Refuse to Fill Valid Prescriptions for Drugs or Devices on the Basis of Personal Beliefs, and for Other Purposes Unknown author (United States. Congress. Senate, 2005-04-14)