Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Quandry of the Moral Pharmacist

In the Sunday, April 24 issue of my local newpaper appeared a column by Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald titled "A moral objection does not give you license to shun job duties". Mr. Pitts starts off giving an example of someone who joins the Army and then refuses, on moral grounds, to kill enemy troops. He then likens this to a pharmacist, on moral grounds, refusing to dispense various forms of birth-control pills. This has been in the news recently. Apparently, the governor of Illinois issued an emergency decaration requiring pharmacies to fill prescriptions for the "morning after pill" after a pharmacist in that state refused to fill such a prescription. I both agree and disagree with various aspects of this situation. First of all, I commend and respect anyone who is willing enough to stand up for their beliefs and values to refuse to kill someone (in the case of the soldier), refuse to perform an abortion, or refuse to dispense birth control pills, including the morning-after pill, or even refusing to work on their sabbath. That being said, I feel that once someone has accepted a job working for someone else, knowing in advance all that that job entails and all that they will be called upon to do, they have given up their right to be selective concerning these sorts of moral issues. This means that anyone who is self-employed, whether as a doctor, pharmacist or whatever, can do whatever they want (within the law). If a pharmacist who owns their own independent drug store does not want to dispense certain medications based on moral grounds, that is OK. If they are closed on the owner's sabbath day, that is OK too. On the other hand, I feel that a pharmacist who works for WalMart, or Eckerd or any other chain must abide by the rules of the company they work for. The rules that they know of when they began their employment. They must fill whatever prescriptions are brought in. The government (as in the case of Illinois) should not need to get involved.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Some Catholics are Hypocritical


With the recent passing of Pope John Paul II, many are wondering what the next Pope will be like. Many are hoping the that next Pope will have less conservative and traditional views on things like birth control, abortion, female priests, homosexualism, etc. I see a basic problem with this kind of thinking. Maybe the next Pope will be more liberal and thus will make some changes in these aspects of church law. But is it God's will for such changes to be made at this time, or is it the will of the people? Excuse me, but I was under the impression that the Pope was God's mouthpiece on earth, and not some kind of political leader that has to be popular with his subjects. I talk about hypocritical Catholics because I hear so many say, "I'm Catholic, but I disagree with this, that and the other thing". Or, "I"m Catholic, but I believe in birth control, or abortion, or whatever". I have said this before and will say it again, I do not think the Catholic Church (or any church, really), is supposed to be a democracy. A church...a real church anyway, is supposed to be run by God or His Spokesman (the Pope...or in the case of the LDS Church, the president and prophet of the church). It is run from the top down, not the bottom up. God commands us, not the other way around. He has not said, to my knowledge, that abortion, or same-sex marraige, or any of these other pressing issues of our time are anymore OK now than they were hundreds or thousands of years ago. To those who say "I'm Catholic, but I disagree with or don't believe whatever", I say would say, "you need to go to confession and then be more willing to follow your church leaders". Now I don't profess to be perfect or anything like that...far from it...I just feel that if someone professes to be a member of a church, that they should be willing to follow its teachings.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Murder, God's Will, or something else?

Terri Schiavo died on Thursday, March 31. Some will say that she was murdered, starved to death deliberately by the removal of her feeding tube. Others will say it was "God's will" that she died at this time. Others will say that it was her time to go and that she would have died than anyway, no matter what. We will never really know...

As far as "God's will" is concerned, I have a lot of problems with that. If God is so great, powerful, loving and just, how can it be his will that so many of his "children" live in such misery, abject poverty, etc while others have everything they need and want. Some are killed violently and at a premature age while others live their whole life. If I were as powerful as God supposedly is, I would make sure that all of my "children" always had everything they needed and were well cared for.

My opinion is that Terri was murdered; starved to death by the removal of her feeding tube. With no food and water, there was no other possible result than death. It is not the same as taking someone off a respirator. Some people on respirators live quite some time after being disconnected.

This is not to say that Terri had much of a "life". Certainly I would not want to live that way and I would not want my family to be going through that. If you feel the same way, make sure that your wishes are made known to your family and that you have a living will.