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Catholic Pharmacist: No Medication for You!

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Rachel Peterson needed a prescription for misoprostol filled to treat her for an impending miscarriage to avoid sepsis, but the pharmacist at a Meijer supermarket in Petoskey, Michigan told her she was just trying to abort her fetus and “as a good Catholic male” he would not fill her prescription. He also would not refer her to someone who would — even though her doctor said that her fetus was not viable and a delay in taking the medication would subject her to risky surgery. She had to drive three hours to find a pharmacy that would sell her the necessary drug.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the supermarket chain on her behalf. Meijer issued a statement saying it “strives to treat customers with dignity and respect.” The store didn’t say whether it fired the pharmacist, just that he doesn’t work there anymore. Company policy does allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions in some conscience cases, but they are then required to get another employee to fill it or to transfer the prescription to a convenient pharmacy that will.

Updated 12:58 pm, October 25, 2018
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Reader feedback

David R says:
The pharmacist is employed to provide a service to the public and a doctor has prescribed the medication. His religious leanings are personal and have absolutely nothing to do with his duty of care to patients as a healthcare professional. In the UK he would have been suspended from the register and may have been stuck off for bringing the profession into disrepute and failure in his duty of care.
Oct. 28, 2018, 8:25 am

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