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The following article appeared on the front page of the Arizona Daily Star today. It covers a recent case where a young woman was denied access to Plan B, an emergency contraceptive that I believe we used to refer to as "high dose estrogen"-I could be wrong about this, and I'm sure that moiv will correct me if I am.

When this young woman finally found a drug store that stocked Plan B, the pharmacist refused to fill it on "moral grounds". I guess this means that he thinks that his moral judgement is superior to hers, or that he is somehow qualified to make decisions about her life for her.

Well, I have the ability to make moral judgements also, so here goes: it violates my moral code to interact with health care workers who exhibit a sloppy attitude toward patients. Why did these people even enter health care, and whose needs  are they there to meet, their own or the patient's?

For those of you on the East Coast, Fry's is known as Kroger.

Originally posted to NCYellowDog on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 10:45 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Geez - I thought you meant... (3.66)
    Fry's Electronics, which would be hard to stay away from for me. I don't know if Fry's has any drugstores under another name in California but I'll make sure to avoid them if I'm ever in the Land of Az.

    "The concentration [of the legislative, executive and judicial powers] in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government." - Jefferson

    by El Payo on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 10:52:12 PM PDT

  •  I make it a point when I am in a Drug store (4.00)
    asking in a VERY loud voice:

    "Would you ever refuse to fill a prescription on moral grounds?"

    So far, a few have asked me to clarify and I responded, as loudly, that I heard some people were refusing to full birth-control prescriptions.  So far, no one has said yes - (and I have done this in Kansas and Missouri)

    Midwest Center for American Values - Progressive ideas in an easy to swallow pill.

    by ETinKC on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 10:58:48 PM PDT

  •  OK, but only since you insist ;-) (4.00)
    Plan B is levonorgestrel, high-dose synthetic progesterone.

    Other than that, you're all over this one. All of these pill police need to be outed to the world. Thanks for dragging one more of them out from under its rock and into the light of day.

    The Lilith Fund: providing equal access for the women of Texas

    by moiv on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 11:00:18 PM PDT

    •  Gotcha (none)
      Progesterone. It's been many moons since I worked in Family Planning clinic!

      These people just make me sick.

      Tarheel born, tarheel bred! And when I die, I'll be tarheel dead.

      by NCYellowDog on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 11:10:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's not outing. (none)
        The diarist only named the retailer. What we need to do is start naming the pharmacists. I hope someone starts a database.

        I wonder if anyone has posted recommendations of how to react to a refusal, i.e., ask for the manager, make the pharmacy find someone who will fill it, post the names online, etc.

        These people need to find some other line of work.

        "Nobody's coming to get her." (the NOLA emergency worker's mother who drowned in the nursing home after five days waiting)

        by homogenius on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 07:12:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You know.. (none)
          I actually thought of writing a LTE asking the Star to list the pharmacies who refused to sell it to her, so that I can make purchasing decisions based on this information.

          There are well-established ways to handle this sort of thing among providers so that patients are not negatively impacted. For instance, I worked with a RN who was a Jehovah's  Witness. She refused to hang blood. We always arranged patient assignments to accomodate this, so that the patient wasn't affected.

          But nursing administrators later asked why we even hired her on a med-surg floor to begin with, if she was unable to perform part of her job.

          It's a valid question.

          Tarheel born, tarheel bred! And when I die, I'll be tarheel dead.

          by NCYellowDog on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 09:25:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  What I don't understand: (4.00)
    What moral grounds? This isn't even terminating a pregnancy by any wild stretch of the terms. It is averting a potentially difficult situation for the woman, and avoiding the possibility of an abortion, what these asshats claim to dread most.

    -7.88, -7.74 In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.

    by melvin on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 11:00:21 PM PDT

    •  they claim to dread abortion (4.00)

      but what they dread more is sex without "consequences" particularly for women.

      All of this about life begins at conception isn't even good science; there's not a fetus until it implants itself in the womb which can take a few days; but "life begins at conception" puts all the emphasis on (you guessed it!) the role of the male.  

      Psychologically, many of the wingnutters probably equate their own (male) orgasms with the moment God brought the universe into being.  Thinking of theirs as a Godlike act of creation on a smaller scale.  If you challenge them on this point and they go ballistic, that's probably a reasonable confirmation that you've hit pay dirt.  

  •  the money quote: (4.00)
    "I was so shocked," said the 20-year-old woman, who, as a victim of sexual assault, is not being named by the Star. "I just did not understand how they could legally refuse to do this."

    This issue is taking on a personal meaning for me for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I remember scoffing at Markos many months ago when he posted a front page piece on a woman who had been denied a 'plan B' prescription at her local pharmacy.  I told Markos to pick his battles at little bit more carefully because I thought that story was a random fluke.

    But since that post, I've been going through some peri-menopausal 'changes' at the ripe old age of 39.  My doctor suggested birth control pills and I find myself filling this prescription through the eyes of someone much younger and less self-confident.  Imagine if the pharmacist could say no.  Imagine if I could be denied this medicine (which is helping so much to restore sanity not just to myself to but my whole family) because the pharmacist felt I didn't deserve it.  For his or her own reasons.  How second-class citizen can you get?

  •  In another recent diary (4.00)
    Madman in the Marketplace provided a link to Planned Parenthood's survey detailing various pharmacies' policies regarding Plan B. Fry's and Kroger aren't on their list -- but apparently they should be.

    The Lilith Fund: providing equal access for the women of Texas

    by moiv on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 11:17:23 PM PDT

  •  It's planned (none)
    Evangelicals had kids attend college to get them into these situations and make a stink. How else would professors be creationists andgo against evolution?
  •  Isn't (none)
    this illegal or at least going to be soon?  I thought our Governor either signed a law saying that these folks couldn't do this or vetoed one saying they could
  •  Frys? The ones around here just sell (none)
    electronics and appliances. Is that the same outfit?

    "Calmer than you are Dude....calmer than you"

    by sula on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 01:02:11 AM PDT

  •  This is excellent (4.00)
    Imagine all of the prescriptions you could refuse to fill for moral reasons! I mean, it's obvious that ADHD is an invented disorder, that parents are too lazy to actually raise their children so they dope them up. What about depression? Those people need to stop feeling so fucking sorry for themselves. Yes, you see, it's all an insidious plot to drive the pharmaceutical industry out of business. What other explanation could their be for such foolishness? Surely there aren't people stupid enough to believe these things, right? What's that you say? Religion. Oh. Shit. I forgot.


    Pointing out that I am not, in fact, clever at all, is neither original nor clever.

    by Not Clever At All on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 02:05:54 AM PDT

    •  My personal theory of ADHD is that (none)
      it is connected to tissue oxygenation.

      People in nursing homes sometimes need to be turned every two hours to prevent bedsores.

      The sleep cycle runs about two hours.

      Students sit for one and sometimes two hour long lectures.

      By moving around, people with ADHD and students resupply their tissues with oxygen.

      The ADHD drugs raise blood pressure. High blood pressure helps pump oxygen into tissues.

      My personal theory of a common form of depression is that glucocorticoids can also act as mineralocorticoids in some people.

      Stress can release glucocorticoids which pump minerals around improperly in susceptible people. Some antidepressants in my opinion help block this action in these people.    

      •  I probably should have said one form (none)
        of ADHD.

        I also suspect that the brain can be susceptible to what I feel are seizures if one part is overworked.

        Seizure drugs are sometimes given to people suffering from depression.

  •  My problem with the story.... (none)
    I can't seem to load their site right now, but I intend to write a letter to the reporter tomorrow, because she seems to have left out some key research.

    First, the girl searching for Plan B states that she called 'over 50' drugstores and none of them kept the pill in stock.  But the rep for Walgreen's said that almost all of their locations showed up as stocking it in the computer.

    Okay, so was the girl exaggerating, was the Walgreen's rep wrong, or did more stores HAVE the pill, but were refusing to dispense it without...actually refusing?

    Instead of doing some research like...say...calling a dozen or so drugstores in Tucson and requesting the pill, the reporter cited some study by an advocacy group that determined a low 'in stock' rate in AZ. Okay...but what about in TUCSON specifically, and Walgreen's, specifically?  

    I think I might actually call a half dozen pharmacies myself tomorrow to see what kind of response I get (though I suppose they might all be more responsive, anyway, due to the article, so it is a flawed test), then send her the letter asking about her research techniques.

    Maybe it is a certain stereotype in my mind about college towns and accidents happen. Date rape happens.  We're in the most liberal county in AZ.  I guess I just find it odd that the local pharmacies wouldn't be better prepared, and I find the story of calling '50 pharmacies' either tragic or suspect.

  •  I refuse to give antibiotics (none)
    It's against my religion. Infections should be fought through prayer. Oh, and I don't really feel like doing my job today.

    Seriously, how the fuck do you get away with refusing to provide medical care? Any pharmacist who does this should have their license taken away.

    •  It should be required.... (4.00)
      If you have a pharmacist who won't dispense specific drugs, then you should have to maintain a pharmacist on-call who will come in and hand out the drug when needed.

      The idea that they will help do a 'hand off' to another pharmacy is pretty, but apparently didn't work in this case.  And this is a pretty big town with a freaking CVS and Walgreens on every corner -- what about those small towns with just a few -- or one -- narrow-minded pharmacist?

    •  Antibiotics were good enough for Jesus (none)
      The Bible has stories of Jesus mixing up dirt on the ground to treat sick people.

      Jesus was probably just trying to hide the use of penicillin containing mold growing on refuse thrown into the street.

  •  Looks like some UofA students noticed... (none)
    and held a protest:

    Thanks for the heads up!

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