Draft Code of Ethics for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians
Ontario College of Pharmacists
(DRAFT 3, March 22, 2005)
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, which could be understood to imply that pharmacist freedom of conscience and religion need not be accommodated:
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, groups 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
letter to the Ontario Minister of Health.