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Friday, 16 September 2005

Comments

Andrea

I can't figure out why this action on a few pharmacists' part doesn't exceed their legal authority -not that I really KNOW what their legal authority is. But it seems like their authority ought not include getting between a woman and her doctor, effectively second-guessing the doctor. Out here in the quasi-sticks, we at least have a few pharmacy options and won't be denied care. But go much further west in Illinois? I bet a person could get in medical/prescription trouble pretty fast, if the pharmacist chose not to fill a scrip.

And did you notice that the mega-Catholic Lehans are NOT included in the suit? The uber-Catholic VanderBleeks ARE, but not the Lehans. I don't know what to make of this little data point, but I thought it was interesting.

Michael

I remember thinking in April that it was surprising there wasn't such a rule in the first place. It's not the job of the pharmacist to prescribe for patients, at least not in this country. That's what doctors are for. It never would have crossed my mind that I could walk up to the pharmacy counter, scrip in hand, and be told that "No, I can't fill that for you. It violates my religious beliefs."

I wasn't aware that vander Bleek was Catholic, though it doesn't surprise me. And while the Lehans are Catholic, they've never struck me as being terribly holier-than-thou about it.

andante

This whole situation drives me nuts.

Like you, my first recommendation is for these pharmacists to find another line of work.

If they don't want to do that, why don't they call their pharmacy the "Pro Life Pharmacy", or something similar, and go heavily after the pro-life crowd?

(I bet they'd still sell Viagra)

Could it be....could it just be....they realize they'll lose business?

It's not a matter of conscience or religious beliefs, it's just another little piece of crap from the right-to-lifers, seeking to force their beliefs down the nation's throat.

Michael

I have no doubt that it's all about losing business, andante. And of course the Pro-Life Pharmacy (TM) will continue to sell Viagra, Cialis, and all the rest of that class of drugs. After all, it's a man's God-given right to have an erection! Isn't it?

Ted Shepherd

Quoted from above: I find it particularly ironic that these are the same groups of people who scream bloody murder about "judicial activism" when a judge rules, for example, that requiring students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance with the words "under God" in it is unconstitutional.

You misunderstood the recent ruling. It has been settled law in the United States that no government has the power to require anyone to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The matter was settled by the US Supreme Court in 1943. I venture to guess that you were not yet born at that time. You can look at up at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts
/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=319&invol=624
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette.

The current issue is whether a government can force students to listen to the pledge, not whether the government can force students to recite it.

Michael

First off, Ted, it appears that you're wrong about what the suit involves. But even if your parsing is correct, it's a distinction without a difference. It's also an irrelevancy as far as my larger point was concerned, which was that many of the same groups supporting the pharmacists in their efforts to quash the Illinois rule are the same ones that are yelling "judicial activism" in the wake of the recent Newdow ruling. If it's "judicial activism" for a judge to rule the current wording of the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional, it is equally "judicial activism" for a court to rule it would be OK for these pharmacists to impose their religious beliefs on their customers. And in fact, at least in my educated layman's opinion, it would require any court reaching such a ruling to toss out most of the Supreme Court's First Amendment religion case law at least since Barnette.

Ted Shepherd

Not to be outdone in politeness, Ted hustles back in time and changes his words "You misunderstood the recent ruling" to "My understanding of the recent ruling differs from yours."

I consider the difference between "require" and "permit" to be significant. There are two questions:
1. May government require students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance?
2. May government permit students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance?
SCOTUS answered the first question in the negative more than sixty years ago.

You are right, of course, that I neglected your points pertaining to pharmacists and judicial activism. My comment was "no comment".

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