Why Pharmacists Should Not Inject Personal Beliefs Into Their Jobs

There is one simple reason why a pharmacist’s personal beliefs should not factor into the dispensing of medication that, to me, takes precedence over all others.
Medications rarely, if ever, have one use. A single medication can be prescribed for a variety of reasons. This causes a problem: a pharmacist might refuse to dispense birth control pills on the religious grounds that the pill prevents conception and therefore prevents life. But what if the pill was not prescribed for prevention of pregnancy?

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I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a Vicodin today

Just a couple comments on Tara’s situation. Firstly, check that the pharmacist doesn’t have a little Vicodin habit of his or her own. Probably not, but I’ve lost all faith in humanity.
Secondly, this situation is deplorable. If a veterinarian at an academic research facility intentionally withheld post-op painkillers from animal subjects larger than a rat– especially a dog, cat, or monkey– without a justifiable experimental purpose**, I have little doubt that said veterinarian just set in motion a series of events that would result in termination of his or her employment. I find it shameful that her relative had to go through this.
If you’re ticked off too, read Terra Sigillata’s excellent post on the responsibilities of a pharmacist.
**specifically, violating the experimental protocol of the principal investigator, and the animal welfare guidelines established and implemented by relevant oversight committees, e.g. IRB and ACUC.