Discussion: Conscientious Objection and Patient Rights
Elli is married and has 2 children. She sees her provider to request the morning-after pill (also known as Plan B). Her provider calls the prescription in to a local pharmacy. When Elli arrives to pick up her prescription, she is told that the pharmacy will not fill it, nor will they transfer it to another location. She asks the pharmacist “Why is there an issue?” He explains that dispensing this type of drug violates his personal moral and religious beliefs.
This scenario, while fictional, is based on a number of real cases where women have been denied certain medications (e.g., birth control pills, Plan B, and RU-486) by a pharmacist because of the pharmacist’s personal beliefs. Similar situations have occurred in states that allow end-of-life therapies approved for physician-assisted-suicide.
In this discussion, you will apply the four ethical principles to a health professional’s right to conscientiously object to provide care. You will also consider possible conflicts between your personal ethical framework and work-related situations.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Consider this week’s Learning Resources regarding conscientious objection and patient rights.
By Day 4
Post a comprehensive response to the following:
Do health professionals have the right to conscientiously object to providing care if it varies from their own personal moral and ethical belief system? Apply the four ethical principles to your response and give an example relating to each principle.
How would you handle a work-related situation or directive that conflicts with your morals and beliefs?
Would your answer to either question above be different based on your chosen profession in healthcare? Explain.