Conscientious objection in the pharmacy

Religious guidance may put UK pharmacists at risk of punishment, says C + D author… but what about Aussie pharmacists?

Seshtyn Paola

According to the UK publication Chemist + Druggist, in 2013 the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) banned a pharmacist from providing emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) for three years because he had given a patient “a distressing explanation of why his religion regarded EHC as morally wrong”.

Now the Council is bringing in new standards – due to come into effect on May 1 – proposing that pharmacy professionals should not be able to refuse services based on their religion, personal values or beliefs.

The GPhC also suggests that referral to another pharmacist should not be an option, reports C + D. . . [Full text]


Conscience rights hit by proposed pharmacy rules, Institute warns

Christian Institute

Conscience protections for pharmacists would be diluted by draft proposals, The Christian Institute has warned.

Currently, pharmacists who do not wish to sell abortifacients, such as the morning after pill, may refer customers to another pharmacist.

But new draft General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) standards weaken that right of referral and state that pharmacists must ensure that “person-centred care is not compromised because of personal values and beliefs”. . . [Full text]


UK church leaders: Pharmacists could be forced to dispense lethal drugs


Simon Caldwell

The General Pharmaceutical Council in the UK announced in a statement that personal values and beliefs should not compromise person-centered care. The statement caused concern among bishops and Catholic organizations that British pharmacists could be forced to dispense lethal drugs under plans to prohibit conscientious objection on the grounds of religion.

MANCHESTER, England – The Catholic Church has predicted that British pharmacists could be forced to dispense lethal drugs under plans to prohibit conscientious objection on the grounds of religion. . . [Full text]

Pharmacy plans could force Christians to act against their conscience

Christian Institute

Christian pharmacists could be forced to provide services which go against their conscience, under controversial new proposals.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is currently consulting on new guidance which would require pharmacists to park their religious convictions while at work.

One group representing Christian pharmacists has warned that the move could make “the position of some excellent professionals untenable”. . . [Full text]


British pharmacy regulator plans to revisit freedom of conscience for pharmacists

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), the state regulator of the profession of pharmacy in the United Kingdom, will be reviewing its standards of conduct, ethics and performance, “including Standard 3.4 which sets out what pharmacy professionals must do if their religious or moral beliefs prevent them from providing a service.”

Preliminary work is to be done in 2013, and there will be public consultation and engagement in 2014/2015.  Those concerned about freedom of conscience among pharmacists in the United Kingdom should follow and participate in the review.

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