Santa Clara University

Ethics Center Blog
Bookmark and Share
 

At the Center

Back to Blog

Must a Pharmacist Fill a Prescription That Violates His Conscience?

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011

In 2002, a Wisconsin pharmacist declined to fill a prescription for birth control pills because, as a Catholic, he said to do so would violate his religous beliefs.  He also refused to refer or transfer the prescription. 

That incident forms the basis of a case study by Center Bioethics Director Margaret McLean, exploring the rights and responsibilities of medical professionals who do not wish to be involved in lawful and standard treatments that violate their personal consciences. 

She delivered the case at a recent conference, The Spark of Conscience Inflames Debate, which examined conscientious refusals in health care.  

Tags: bioethics, conscience