Apparently that Law & Order SVU Episode Was Written by the Connecticut AG

December 27, 2008

As I described in my previous post, the writers of a recent Law & Order SVU episode apparently would allow a customer to force her beliefs on a pharmacist when it comes to the morning-after pill, and then even characterize the pharamacist as the aggressor.  It’s even worse in real life.  In response to the recently-passed Provider Conscience Rule, which requires only that federal funding recipients promise not to violate consciences of healthcare providers in certain situations, the Connecticut Attorney General has issued this troubling statement:

This Provider Conscience Rule, thinly veiled as a promise of fairness to doctors, jeopardizes assurances that sexual assault victims are provided emergency contraception. This new rule puts personal agendas before patient care — protecting doctor objections, but entirely ignoring the rights of rape victims and others to access birth control and other vital services. This rule upsets the careful balance between physician beliefs and a patient’s right to affordable, accessible health care.

(Emphasis mine.) 

Sound familiar?  It’s not as though anyone in Connecticut is forced to accept federal funding or the rules that accompany accepting national tax-payer money, just as the customer in the episode wasn’t forced to visit that particular pharmacist.  But apparently allowing one person to force her views on another person (i.e., ram her views down someone else’s throat) isn’t such a bad thing afterall, as long as you’re on the right (i.e., left) side.

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3 Responses to “Apparently that Law & Order SVU Episode Was Written by the Connecticut AG”

  1. Motspur Says:

    I disagree, I think you’re taking this the wrong way. I think the quote is entirely correct – personal agendas should not come before patient’s needs in the case of healthcare.

    A rape victim asking for the morning after pill is not ramming her views down the pharmacist’s throat. She’s not telling the pharmacist what to do with HER life. The pharmacist, however, in expressing her views on the subject, could be said to be ramming her views down the customer’s throat – even if she meant no harm or malice, was just trying to help, she is telling the customer what to do with HER life. This behaviour is simply unacceptable from a pharmacist.

  2. thenaturallawyer Says:

    Do you think the government ought to be able to tell a pharmacist what to sell and what not to sell? Should the government be able to tell a book store what books to sell and what books not to sell?

    Do you mean to say that (a) the government should tell the pharmacist how to be a pharmacist, (b) there is an inherent idea of “pharmacist” to which a pharmacist must measure up as a moral matter, (c) there is a social convention of a “good pharmacist” to which a pharmacist must measure up, (d) you prefer that pharmacists act in a certain way, or (e) some other option I haven’t considered? I’m asking how you can think the pharmacist ought to do anything other than what he/she wants to do as a pharmacist?

  3. Motspur Says:

    “Do you think the government ought to be able to tell a pharmacist what to sell and what not to sell?”

    No, but if the pharmacist chooses to stock the morning after pill in their store, they should not pass vocal judgement on those who come to buy it. (I think as a standard of common decency, NO ONE should pass vocal judgement on someone buying the morning after pill, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish.)

    “Should the government be able to tell a book store what books to sell and what books not to sell?”

    No.

    “Do you mean to say that (a) the government should tell the pharmacist how to be a pharmacist,”
    Yes, to some extent.

    “(b) there is an inherent idea of “pharmacist” to which a pharmacist must measure up as a moral matter,”
    Yes, indeed.

    “(c) there is a social convention of a “good pharmacist” to which a pharmacist must measure up, ”
    Yes, of course.

    “(d) you prefer that pharmacists act in a certain way, ”
    Yes, I prefer that pharmacists act in a manner of respect and courtesy to their customers. Is that so much to ask?

    “I’m asking how you can think the pharmacist ought to do anything other than what he/she wants to do as a pharmacist?”

    Because the position of a health professional, or someone who deals with potentially life-altering and health-affecting things, is a big responsibility to take on. You can change peoples’ lives, for the better OR the worse. What you say may have serious effect on people who may be going through traumatic periods in their lives. There is a standard of decency & behaviour that people in such positions must live up to, or they should not take on the positions. Basic respect of others’ opinions is essential in such a career.


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