Law & Order SVU

December 27, 2008

If you watch Law & Order: SVU for very long, you may notice that many of the episodes display an interesting bias, presumably in keeping with the political leanings of the show’s writers. 

One particular episode revealed a very troubling line of thinking.  What you will see when you click here (after an irrelevant commercial courtesy of NBC) is a two minute excerpt from said episode that shows a woman customer asking a woman pharmacist for the “morning after pill”, and when the pharmacist asks if the customer had considered adoption, the customer assaults the pharmacist.  What you will not see on the online two-minute episode highlight, however, is a short remark that followed the scene, if you watched the show on television like I did. 

Following the assault, Detective Benson and Detective Fin, protagonists in the show, walked down the sidewalk and Detective Fin said to Detective Benson regarding the pharmacist, (quoting from memory) “that’s what happens when people try to ram their beliefs down other people’s throats” (or something equally snide to that effect).  It turns out that the customer had been raped and that’s why she needed the morning after pill — though the pharmacist obviously had no way of knowing that.

So let’s get this straight.  Customer apparently believes day-after-conception abortions are permissible, at least in the case of rape.  Pharmacist apparently does not.  Customer approaches Pharmacist and asks demands that Pharmacist act in accordance with Customer’s beliefs.  Pharmacist suggests that Customer’s beliefs may not be correct.  Customer assaults Pharmacist.  And the conclusion is that Pharmacist forced her beliefs on Customer?  Not that Customer forced her beliefs on Pharmacist?  It is remarkable that the writers of Law & Order SVU, or any reflective person, could think that makes sense.  But such are the times in which we live.

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6 Responses to “Law & Order SVU”

  1. Sara Says:

    I’ve noticed a lot of that kind of illogical or biased thinking on SVU. They seem to like stepping on conservative toes at least once a month. My “favorite” was an episode where a single mom homeschooled her kids who then became murderers.

  2. Motspur Says:

    Well, here’s a good place to start my commenting on your blog, my friend.

    This situation of pharmacist vs. customer is an interesting one. It is my belief that the pharmacist was in the wrong. When you are in a position such as a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist, it is not your place to judge your patients/customers’ moral actions. The pharmacist’s job is to dispense the medication, without judgement, and the remark he/she made was completely inappropriate. Regardless of whether the customer had been raped or simply had a condom split, it is her choice to take the morning after pill, and she had already made that choice. The pharmacist had no right to say what he/she did. If the customer had come in and ASKED the pharmacist’s advice on what to do, then it would have been okay. But opinions such as that should be kept to yourself in such situations, when you are not asked.

  3. Motspur Says:

    Oh, and the customer is definitely not forcing her beliefs on the pharmacist simply by ASKING FOR A PILL. She’s not making the PHARMACIST take the morning after pill! She’s not making the pharmacist have an abortion! She just wants the pill for herself.

    If the pharmacist is one of the camp that believe the morning after pill is abortion and abortion is murder, and he/she does not want to have anything to do with something like that, well I’m sorry, but they should NOT have become a pharmacist. Medical lines of work should be taken by people who will not let their moral opinions affect their ability to do their job. A doctor who is against the Pill morally is still obligated to prescribe it, without judgement or preaching, to their patient. If they have a problem with that, I really feel they should not have become a doctor. There is just no room for moral high ground or sticking points in that line of work.

  4. Motspur Says:

    Oh, but I should also make it known that I don’t expect a doctor who does not agree with abortion to PERFORM an abortion. And as such I would also like to revoke partially what I said in my last comment – I don’t think the doctor HAS to prescribe the Pill to the patient if they are morally against it, but, in both cases – Pill and abortion – they should refer the patient to a doctor who would be happy to. If they cannot do THAT, they should not be a doctor.

  5. thenaturallawyer Says:

    Of course she didn’t force her beliefs on the pharmacist by “ASKING FOR A PILL”! She forced her beliefs on the pharmacist by assaulting her. She was free to walk out of the pharmacy and go to a different pharmacist (it’s not as though they are hard to find). Moreover, the pharmacist did not even say that the rape victim was doing anything wrong, and from what I could tell of the episode, the pharmacist did not refuse to dispense the medical. All the pharmacist did was ask a question: “have you considered adoption?”

    Again, I have the same questions that I posted in the “Connecticut AG” thread: where do the standards you impose on the pharmacist come from?

    We should also clarify something about “forcing one’s beliefs on another”. I think when one is using this phrase, one could mean any of: (a) government coercion of a moral decision; (b) questioning someone about their moral convictions; (c) one private person holding another private person to a particular moral standard, and expressing that standard; (d) harassing someone for not living up to a particular moral standard; or (e) physically harming someone for failing to live up to a particular moral standard.
    The pharmacist in the SVU show was guilty of “b”, and maybe “c”. The rape victim was guilty of “e”. Which is worse? What would you say is a more full expression of “forcing one’s beliefs on another”?

  6. Motspur Says:

    “Of course she didn’t force her beliefs on the pharmacist by “ASKING FOR A PILL”! She forced her beliefs on the pharmacist by assaulting her. ”

    I’m not saying that assaulting the pharmacist was the right thing to do. I’m saying that I could understand that reaction. I don’t think she was “forcing her beliefs” by assaulting the pharmacist. I would hazard a guess that she didn’t hit the person behind the counter to try and convince them of her view. She hit because she was offended and traumatised.

    “She was free to walk out of the pharmacy and go to a different pharmacist (it’s not as though they are hard to find).”

    This is not always the case. Besides which, this was not “YOU BITCH HOW DARE YOU NOT HAVE THE PILL or HOW DARE YOU NOT GIVE IT TO ME” it was a retaliation to a statement which grievously offended, enraged, and upset her (very understandably).

    “Moreover, the pharmacist did not even say that the rape victim was doing anything wrong, and from what I could tell of the episode, the pharmacist did not refuse to dispense the medical. All the pharmacist did was ask a question: “have you considered adoption?” ”

    This question was out of line, inappropriate, and offensive, even if the girl had NOT been raped. It is none of the pharmacist’s business and the customer did not ask for her opinion.

    “Again, I have the same questions that I posted in the “Connecticut AG” thread: where do the standards you impose on the pharmacist come from?”

    They come from my desire for basic decency towards people and not sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong.

    “We should also clarify something about “forcing one’s beliefs on another”. I think when one is using this phrase, one could mean any of: (a) government coercion of a moral decision; (b) questioning someone about their moral convictions; (c) one private person holding another private person to a particular moral standard, and expressing that standard; (d) harassing someone for not living up to a particular moral standard; or (e) physically harming someone for failing to live up to a particular moral standard.
    The pharmacist in the SVU show was guilty of “b”, and maybe “c”. The rape victim was guilty of “e”. Which is worse? What would you say is a more full expression of “forcing one’s beliefs on another”?”

    I really don’t think the rape victim was guilty of (e) at all. She was not harming the pharmacist for failing to agree with her morals. She was harming the pharmacist for insulting and upsetting her. Not the right thing to do, necessarily, but again, I’d say definitely understandable. The customer was not imposing her views on the pharmacist. She was just expressing her offense at the pharmacist doing so to her, and I think the pharmacist is definitely the one in the wrong here.


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