Do docs/pharmacists have the authority to deny prescriptions on a moral basis?

I read an article about doctors and pharmacists that are denying women prescriptions for hormonal birth control on the basis that it is “abortion”. I think this is not only rediculous, but it’s also unacceptable for doctors to impose their personal moral beliefs on their patients. It’s like refusing treatment to murderers or something.

What do you think?

Well, no. That is what doctors are for. O_o

Well, yeah.

And you have the right to take your business elsewhere and spread the word that Dr. So and So (insert your beef here). My guess is there will be plenty of doctors and pharmacists out there who will be happy to do business with you.

Absent an immediate life- or health-threatening situation, yes, they do.

As a primary care doctor, I also have the right not to refer to such people.

I think it would be wrong to discourage a patient from seeking a particular treatment on a moral basis. For instance, if a doctor has moral reasons for not giving birth control pills, it’s OK to explain his reasons and not prescribe the pills, but he shouldn’t try to talk her out of getting them at all.

Rather depends on their employment contract. The position may require specialized certification, but in the end the pharmacists who don’t own their shop are just glorified register monkeys. I’d advise simply complaining to their supervisor, or to the regional office if need be. Once the money guys figure out they’re losing a sizable business segment because of some loon’s religious nuttery, said loon will be out on his or her ass in no time flat.

If the loon does own the shop it’s a different matter, of course. Then you can just spread word about it, maybe picket out there one weekend, and take your business to the chain store on the corner.

Part of the oath that a Pharmacist takes (like a doctor takes the Hippocratic Oath) includes the line “I will maintain the highest principles of moral, ethical and legal conduct.”
I would interpret that to say that yes, they do have the right.

I also have the right to stay as far away as I can from a professional who will not do his job.

By the way, there is a thread on this same topic here.

If a customer was an asshole to me, or worked for a company I didn’t like, I would feel like it was my moral obligation to ignore that person. And I would be fired for it. It is not the pharmacist’s decision, it is the decision of whatever company he works for. If he works for himself, then yeah, ok, he can do whatever he wants.

Part of the oath that a Pharmacist takes (like a doctor takes the Hippocratic Oath) includes the line “I will maintain the highest principles of moral, ethical and legal conduct.”

This part of the oath, IMHO, says that as a pharmacist one should be fair and honest in dealing with those who come to you, as your an agent of a physician[if physicians dispensed all their own medicines themselves, you would have a much shrunken workday and staff] who is likewise honor-bound to do so[if the Hippocratic Oath has any modern standing at all]. Do a correct job, dispensing reliable medicines and informing customers of the latest drug information as it applies to their condition, and not as how you wish them to conduct their lives. You have not been instructed to lecture, cajole, persuade or deny anything to anyone. Once you’ve been handed orders from a physician, and possibly verifying them if you suspect fraud, or possible error, then you are bound by your oath to supply what has been asked for. If you want to berate a member of the public about some aspect of their life, become a preacher, write a letter to the editor, join discussion groups,etc. Don’t hide behind some words that make it unjustifiably easy to deny service to anyone you disagree with.