This country never ceases to amaze me! A carefully crafted report by a committee of the highest institution of the land, Parliament, suggests that the morning-after pill (MAP) should be dispensed against a doctor’s prescription.
Well, what do you know! The executive branch of government overrules this together with the Medicines Authority! They quote science saying that the MAP is not abortive (sometimes it is and sometimes it is not depending on the cycle) only for one to read in the specific insert to these tablets that it may prevent the attachment of the embryo to the womb, in fact meaning that it may be abortive! Wonders never cease! In its infinite wisdom, the Medicine’s Authority has decided to shift the onus of responsibility from physicians to pharmacists. This does put a greater responsibility on community pharmacists to dispense the MAP in a professional manner. Considering that there are ethical and medical issues why the MAP should not be dispensed, it behoves the pharmaceutical community now to create a system where the MAP can be safely dispensed. This would require a personal interview between the pharmacist and the client, which interview has to be carried out in a private room, where personal medical details and past history are asked for and checked. If it is found that there are medical contraindications to the pill, this should not be dispensed as there are health and indemnity issues involved. It would be very irresponsible if the MAP were to be dispensed without this interview as if it was just a box of throat pastilles! The pharmacist may choose not to dispense the MAP for both medical and also for purely ethical reasons.
I find it disturbing that both professionals and non-professionals choose to criticize the fact that professional care workers may always object to participate in any medical procedure or dispensation, if such procedure or dispensing goes contrary to the person’s ethical disposition. Conscientious objection has been, is and will always remain the right of the professional. We can even refuse to see patients if there are ethical issues involved in the act of seeing them. This right is an enshrined principle of medical ethics.
In ancient Rome, the father, the Pater Familias, had the absolute