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Respond now to consultation that would bar pro-life pharmacists

21 February 2017

 
The GPhC is consulting on religion, personal values and beliefs in pharmacy practice.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is considering proposals that would remove the right to conscientiously refuse to provide abortifacient drugs.

The GPhC has launched a public consultation on "religion, personal values and beliefs in pharmacy practice". SPUC is urging supporters to respond to the consultation, and has produced a briefing to support this, which can be downloaded below. The consultation ends on 7 March.

Abortifacient drugs 

Under current rules a pharmacist who does not wish to issue an abortifacient drug can refer the patient to another colleague. However, under a new example given in the consultation document, this option would be removed. Instead, the pharmacist would have to "take responsibility for ensuring that person-centred care is not compromised because of personal values and belief".

The consultation document goes on to make clear the practical implications of this change, saying: "these proposals will change the expectations placed on pharmacy professional when their religion, personal values or beliefs might...impact on their ability to provide services. They will shift the balance in favour of the needs and rights of the person in their care...under the new proposals, a referral to another service provider might not be the right option, or enough, to ensure that person-centred care is not compromised. This is a significant change from the present position".

Radical undermining of pharmacists' rights

Dr Anthony McCarthy of SPUC, who produced the briefing, said: "What is proposed poses a very serious challenge to 'conscientious objection' and amounts to a radical undermining of pharmacists' rights in this morally crucial area. Please do take the time to respond to the consultation and register your strong objection to proposals which may well make it effectively impossible for pro-lifers to practice pharmacy in this country."

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Comments (13)
  • Gordon Harris

    21 February 2017, 8:41pm

    Pharmacists are trained to provide medical relief for their patients, not kill them. This is an absurd 'pro-death' proposal which must challenged as such. The population-control-movement is also pushing hard to expand abortion to non life-threatened pregnant women. Both must be challenged.

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  • Keith Moreton

    21 February 2017, 8:42pm

    This action by The General Pharmaceutical Council is predictable, it is merely another path which the eugenicists have proceeded to further their cause, which is evil. The sacredness of human life means nothing to them. These people are already having success at the other end of our lives, for example the euthanasia bill which was passed in Canada. Their arguments are populist (ignorant). Freedom of conscience is now being removed forcibly the GPhC. I support the SPUC's view of the sacred nature of human life from conception to natural death.

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  • Joe

    22 February 2017, 11:33am

    Person-centred neglect is when a patient is given what they want even though it is bad for them. Real patient-centred care involves providing what is ultimately in the best interests of the patient. Abortion harms both the baby and its mother.

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  • Tim

    22 February 2017, 12:28pm

    This is yet another example of how this country is reverting to a prechristian ethic ie Is giving up the sanctity of human life.It is totally wrong to remove a persons right to participate in the practice of abortion .

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  • Tom

    22 February 2017, 12:45pm

    This is unfair on pharmacists, too. If I was a teenage Christian or simply someone who cared considering a career as a chemist, this would put me off doing that, but it's a workplace that needs people who love the Lord and who love people. If providing abortion medicines becomes something compulsory, then Christians and others who want to stand up for the unspoken choice of unborn babies and pressured mums, are going to risk their livelihoods and perhaps one day even their freedom for what they believe. Good to know what you believe and be prepared to do that, but wrong to be put in that situation.

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  • John Crean

    22 February 2017, 2:33pm

    I very strongly oppose the proposal to take away a pharmacist's right to refuse to dispense abortifacient drugs because so doing would go against his or her conscience.

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  • Mary Lynch

    22 February 2017, 6:43pm

    Professional people who are trained to value life and through their conscience, religious beliefs see life as sacred are put in a terrible dilemma. If these important people are put in this position they may change their profession. Where will be then? Who is it who makes these decisions? Let them be named personally and remain anonymous.

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  • Kathleen Duggan

    22 February 2017, 11:27pm

    Are we as a nation now taking the stance that individuals can only excercise their rights of belief as long as it agrees with what the government says. Oh dear Sounds a lot like communist Russia. And we condemned them.

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  • AnneDonaldson

    22 February 2017, 11:38pm

    Where has our Freedom of Religion gone, it's a disgrace to force someone to do somthing against their beliefs.If we don't stand up against these bullies then our freedom will be eroded further and further God Bless this and all, others who work in pharmacy and cherish their faith .

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  • Stephen Cardwell

    23 February 2017, 4:28pm

    Pharmacists should not be forced to act against their consciences

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