American Pharmaceutical Association
Policies & statements relevant to freedom of conscience
1994 Code of Ethics for Pharmacists
IV. A pharmacist acts with honesty and integrity in professional relationships. A pharmacist has a duty to tell the truth and to act with conviction of conscience. A pharmacist avoids discriminatory practices, behavior or work conditions that impair professional judgment, and actions that compromise dedication to the best interests of patients.
2004, 1998 Pharmacist Conscience Clause
1. APhA recognizes the individual pharmacist’s right to exercise conscientious refusal and supports the establishment of systems to ensure patient’s access to legally prescribed therapy without compromising the pharmacist’s right of conscientious refusal.
2. APhA shall appoint a council on an as needed basis to serve as a resource for the profession in addressing and understanding ethical issues.
(JAPhA 38(4):417 July/August 1998) (JAPhA NS44(5):551 September/October 2004) (Reviewed 2010) (Reviewed 2015)
2004, 1985 Pharmacist Involvement in Execution by Lethal Injection
1. APhA opposes the use of the term “drug” for chemicals when used in lethal injections.
2. APhA opposes laws and regulations which mandate or prohibit the participation of pharmacists in the process of execution by lethal injection.
(Am Pharm NS25(5):51 May 1985) (JAPhA NS44(5):551 September/October 2004)] (Reviewed 2010) (Reviewed 2015)
1997 Physician Assisted Suicide
1. APhA supports informed decision-making based upon the professional judgment of pharmacists, rather than endorsing a particular moral stance on the issue of physician-assisted suicide.
2. APhA opposes laws and regulations which mandate or prohibit the participation of pharmacists in physician-assisted suicide.
(JAPhA NS37(4):459 July/August 1997) (JAPhA NS44(5):551 September/October 2004) (Reviewed 2010) (Reviewed 2015)
2015 Pharmacist Participation in Executions
The American Pharmacists Association discourages pharmacist participation in executions on the basis that such activities are fundamentally contrary to the role of pharmacists as providers of health care.
(JAPhA 55(4): 365 July/August 2015