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Protection of Conscience Project

Service, not Servitude
Repression of Conscience

Draft Code of Ethics for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians

Ontario College of Pharmacists

(DRAFT 3, March 22, 2005)

Sean Murphy*

The Ontario College of Pharmacists recommended that the Ontario Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council ("HPRAC") that a Code of Ethics be approved for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians. The draft included the following statement:

Principle Four

The pharmacist and pharmacy technician respects the autonomy, individuality and dignity of each patient and provides care with respect for human rights and without discrimination. No patient shall be deprived of pharmaceutical services because of the personal convictions or religious beliefs of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.

Concerned pharmacists who would have objected to this were unaware that the College was contemplating such a recommendation and were not consulted about it. Similarly, igroups representing the interests of religious believers who might be adversely impacted by the adoption of such a recommendation were not notified.

The College of Pharmacists was rebuked by the executive director of the Centre for Cultural Renewal for its "narrow and frankly totalitarian view of professional practice." [Benson] The Project protested the proposal and the College's method of proceeding in a letter to the Ontario Minister of Health.


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