Thursday, June 09, 2005
In The History Of This Camp, That Was The Most Infamous, The Most Disgusting, The Most Revolting Display Of Hooliganism We Have Ever Had
For more background, I refer you to this superb article from Prevention Magazine a couple of years back. But here's the gist, from my view:
Contraceptives are legal.
Pharmacists are not doctors. They are pill-counters and retail clerks. (And, yes, I know that they actually do undergo extensive training. I have a couple of pharmacist friends. Don't split hairs.) They in no way inform the doctor-patient relationship.
If you're a pharmacist with a problem dispensing legally prescribed drugs, get the fuck out of the pharmacy business.
And get your goddamned God away from my friends' reproductive organs.
Pharmacists are not machines. We are not there just to "count, pour, lick and stick." We are, in fact, the last bastions of public health. We are the ones people go to when they have that rash on their leg (that looks very much like Lyme disease), or that nagging infection that won't go away (diabetes?), or that persistent headache (high blood pressure?). We're the ones that you can talk to, person-to-person, at 7pm on a Saturday night. We're far more accessible than an ER. And better, we're free. Why? Because we care.
I don't personally agree with a pharmacist refusing to fill birth control pills. However, if one were to make such a decision, that fact should be posted in a prominent place--just as there are pharmacies which no longer sell cigarettes or liquor. If the "pro-lifers" are going to carry out their campaign, let the public decide that, maybe, the pharmacy down the block would better suit their needs. Let the owner/manager decide that no, s/he needs the business, and the Conscientious Objecter should be fired (yes, "bad for business" is a valid reason). Just as Massachusetts pharmacies now state they "no longer stock" Oxycontin. (They usually do, but that's another story.) It's up to the pharmacy and the pharmacist. And frankly, it's nothing new: there have always been a few fanatics out there who won't 'abet a sin.'
Now, there are federal rules about pharmacies that are the only one for 50 miles, and what they must supply. But really, that's a small percentage nationwide. Let's face it, if you don't like CVS, you walk a block or two to Walgreen's or Rite Aid or Eckerd's or Brooks. Even most small towns sport more than one pharmacy. So long as they're up-front, I don't see a problem--especially as I suspect the PFL is really quite tiny. Certainly, I'd never heard of it.
But you can't reduce a pharmacist to a dispensing machine. That's like saying any five-year-old is a concert musician, so long as you've taught them to read music.
There is another, even more horrific consideration. What of those faiths which believe, for instance, that women should suffer? Do they have the right to refuse to dole out pain medication?
You are selecting isolated incidents -- which I do not mean to invalidate -- while I am speaking of a very deliberate religious/political movement. And, sadly, it is growing all the time.