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Is Your Pharmacist Judging You?

The New York Civil Liberties Union has a release out this morning about a complaint the group is filing today on behalf of a health care provider at Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson. The NYCLU is charging that a Rite Aid pharmacist who refused to fill a patient’s prescription for refill doses of Emergency Contraception should be disciplined by the New York State Board of Pharmacy.

Interestingly, the pharmacist was, apparently, not motivated by a blanket religious prohibition against dispensing emergency contraception, but by her own personal belief that women should not get more than one dose of emergency contraception.

The case raises the issue of how much latitude workers in medicine and other professions should be given to make decisions according to their own personal standards of right and wrong.

Last week, the Forward reported on an effort to strengthen federal requirements for religious accomodations in the workplace. While a broad swath of the religious community is behind the bill, the ACLU and others argue that it could empower religious conservatives to impose their own morality in medical and public health settings, to the detriment of patients.

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