Jason (jcreed) wrote,
Jason
jcreed

I'm not sure how I feel about this story. My initial reaction was to sympathize with the woman who was refused her prescription, but I'm not sure on a second reading that I agree that BoingBoing's (specifically Xeni's) "Welcome to Jesusistan" response is appropriate.

Why is the default that people must sell you things if you ask for them? Is it because, in this case, we're talking about health care? If that's the argument, then I'm at least one foot on-board. I can imagine it opening up someone to liability if someone with a heart condition comes by for their script and I don't sell it to them just because I don't feel like it, and they die as a result. Certainly if the reason I don't feel like selling it to them is because they're, say, black, I ought to get in trouble. The thing that bothers me, and maybe I'm leaning a bit libertarian here despite my erstwhile rejection of (perhaps a strawman caricature of) libertarianism, is that I think people refusing to do things they think is immoral is, by default, a pretty acceptable thing. If I were drafted, I would like to be able to say, fuck no, I would prefer not to cooperate in killing people. Even if it means I'm sitting behind a desk writing code or translating or some shit, I would like, all other things being equal, the state giving me more discretionary power in deciding whether or not I'm an accomplice to what I consider killing.

Of course not all other things are equal, and I bet vegetarians are still paying taxes that go to cattle subsidies or something, and anti-birth-control and pro-life people are paying taxes that fund birth control and abortions, and so on. I don't know what I think the right role for the government is in this case, but it doesn't seem quite so crazy a Jesusistan world to me where the pharmacy just has to up and fire someone for failing to sell products that consumers want to buy, instead of the government saying it's illegal to refuse.

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I went back and read the article, and I can't find a single thing that explicitly says what the laws do is prevent pharmacies from firing their "conscientious" employees. I assume all of y'all telling me that's what they mean have encountered this issue before... Given that assumption, this article feels downright sneaky, only using the word "protect".
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