Religious Beliefs of Health Care Workers to Trump Those of Patients

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That is, if new "religious discrimination" regulations being rushed through by the Bush administration stand. President Bush and his minions evidently don't believe that they've done enough damage yet, so they are trying (as prior administrations have done) to impose new regulations before they return to a well-deserved exile in the private sector. In this case, as the New York Times reports:

A last-minute Bush administration plan to grant sweeping new protections to health care providers who oppose abortion and other procedures on religious or moral grounds has provoked a torrent of objections, including a strenuous protest from the government agency that enforces job discrimination laws.

The proposed rule would prohibit recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to perform or to assist in the performance of abortions or sterilization procedures because of their "religious beliefs or moral convictions."

It would also prevent hospitals, clinics, doctors' offices and drugstores from requiring employees with religious or moral objections to "assist in the performance of any part of a health service program or research activity" financed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/dayart/20060604/cartoon20060604.gif

reason warned that this was coming: 

Can pharmacies, stem cell labs, or abortion clinics refuse to hire people who believe their activities are evil? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services doesn't think so. The agency is circulating draft regulations that would outlaw employment discrimination on the grounds of religious and moral beliefs by any entity that receives the department's money.

Since Washington's subsidies are so ubiquitous, the rule would apply even to local pharmacies, because the feds pay for some prescriptions. In effect, the government's money is serving as a Trojan horse for the administration's moral agenda.

The tension between the moral choices of health professionals and the interests of their patients has never been resolved. After Roe v. Wade affirmed a woman's right to obtain an abortion in 1973, Congress quickly passed the Church Amendments, permitting health care providers that receive federal funding to refuse to perform or assist abortions or sterilizations on moral or religious grounds. This means, for example, that Roman Catholic hospitals don't have to offer these services but can still receive government money. The Church Amendments also prohibit employment discrimination against health care providers who object to abortion.

Fortunately, there is a way out for people who find that certain medical treatments offend their consciences:

"Religious freedom is an important part of the history of this country," Richard S. Myers, a professor at Ave Maria School of Law, told The Washington Post. "People who have a religious or moral belief should not be forced to participate in an act they find abhorrent." Myers is correct. But why should the religious beliefs of others trump those of patients and employers? People who don't want to participate in medical procedures they find abhorrent have a simple solution: They can choose to work elsewhere.

Whole New York Times article here

NEXT: Play it Again, Chico

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  1. “… Richard S. Myers, a professor at Ave Maria School of Law..”

    That sounds like a spoof! As a free-marketeer, I dread the incoming administration, but as a lover of civil liberties I am glad the present one is about to end.

  2. As long as pharmacists are a government protected monopoly, they have no right to decide who, how, what, or when they distribute in terms of prescriptions.

  3. The agency is circulating draft regulations that would outlaw employment discrimination on the grounds of religious and moral beliefs by any entity that receives the department’s money.

    Discriminate in what way? By refusing to hire them?

    A degree in brain surgery from Oral Roberts University would definitely qualify you for government work.

  4. I think they have it backwards – because you receive government money, you have to serve the taxpayer those things which are legal for your regulated sale.

  5. When a jewish kid at stop ‘n shop won’t ring up my bacon, then there will be a problem.

  6. The good news is that regulations made less than 60 days before the end of a new Congress can be reviewed and repealed up to 75 days after the new Congressional session starts. This law was passed in 1996 to foil Clinton. Glad to see it working to foil Bush as well.

    Thankfully, this bad boy will likely never see the light of day.

  7. Yeah, I agree. If you’re so much of a fundie you can’t hand out birth control, find another profession besides pharmacy.

  8. I’m tired of fucking around. Lets go all the way with this nonsense. Work at a pet store and you’ve converted to Islam? No mare dealing with the puppies and white mice. You are a grocery store clerk and you’re Jewish, don’t ring up that Spam. Mormons can refuse to sell Coke, liquor and tobacco, but you cn’t dicriminate aginst them when your hiring for your liquor store.

    Hindus at McDonald’s? Won’t that be amusing as hell to watch. “You get the McChicken or you get nothing!”

    Worst president since Buchanan.

  9. J sub, wait until the hippie vegan that works at the 7-11 won’t ring up your big bite.

  10. I am waiting for the law that refuses discrimination by butcher shops against those who have religiously based aversion to the handling of pork.

  11. “I am waiting for the law that refuses discrimination by butcher shops against those who have religiously based aversion to the handling of pork.”

    The same people who scream for this law will scream against ZOMG TEH COMING IZLAMIFICATIONZ!! if that happens.

  12. Too slow…beaten by everyone.

    Should have said, I concur.

  13. How is this being “rushed through?” DHHS had submitted the proposed rule-making back in August.

  14. THere are already muslim cab drivers who won’t transport liquor.

  15. As long as pharmacists are a government protected monopoly, they have no right to decide who, how, what, or when they distribute in terms of prescriptions.

    Do we want to extend this logic to all professions that are required government licensure?

  16. I’m anxiously waiting to see who Bush pardons on the last day. Can he top Clinton? My guess is yes.

  17. The difference between the “kosher vegan at Burger King” examples and the impact of this proposed rule is that the hospitals in the proposed rule agreed to accept money from the Government with all strings attached.

  18. Muslim cab drivers:
    http://jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/014683.php

    “We want the drivers to know about the policy in advance, so that if they don’t think they can work under these conditions, they have the option of not renewing their license,” Hogan said.

    Would a similar policy attached to a pharmacy license make sense? Shem’s argument, I think, is at the core.

  19. So, health care should not be a “right” because then medical staff would be forced to treat any patient, violating the principles of libertarianism.

    But, a doctor should be forced to perform abortions or leave the profession, which doesn’t violate libertarian principles.

    Glad to see hypocrisy is not the sole province of the Pubs and Demos…

  20. “The difference between the “kosher vegan at Burger King” examples and the impact of this proposed rule is that the hospitals in the proposed rule agreed to accept money from the Government with all strings attached.”

    Burger King indirectly benefits from government cash to agro subsidies.

  21. Do we want to extend this logic to all professions that are required government licensure?

    I do. Might be the best way to end licensure.

  22. “Do we want to extend this logic to all professions that are required government licensure?”

    There’s a hell of a lot more than just government license going on in the pharma industry. Huge government R&D funding, monopolistic patent protections, etc. That’s not to say I favor more intervention as the solution, but it’s hardly a private industry to begin with.

  23. Do we want to extend this logic to all professions that are required government licensure?

    Personally, I would rather get rid of the government licensure.

    I’m tired of fucking around. Lets go all the way with this nonsense. Work at a pet store and you’ve converted to Islam? No mare dealing with the puppies and white mice.

    All employers to refuse to hire on this basis, and no problem.

  24. “All employers to refuse to hire on this basis, and no problem.”

    You’ll end up with discrimination suits left and right.

  25. “So, health care should not be a “right” because then medical staff would be forced to treat any patient, violating the principles of libertarianism.

    But, a doctor should be forced to perform abortions or leave the profession, which doesn’t violate libertarian principles.”

    It’s a little more complicated than that, Jay, if you read the article.

  26. THere are already muslim cab drivers who won’t transport liquor.

    Also, dogs. Imagine you’re a carless NYC resident and fido needs to go to the vet…

    Taxicabs are heavily regulated by local government.

  27. As long as pharmacists are a government protected monopoly, they have no right to decide who, how, what, or when they distribute in terms of prescriptions.

    Standard Libertarian Disclaimer #1 applies.
    Do you think a pharmacy should be required to carry every legal medication? Or should we perhaps set up an the Administration of Pharmacy Inventory in HHS?

    The owner of a business decides which products or services she offers. The employee of a business does his job or gets canned. Is that really too complicated?

    You need a license to sell liquor, yet many outlets still refuse to carry one of my faves, Tullamore Dew. I live with that.

  28. This is kind of a bizarre one because in my state in Australia, they proposed to force medical practitioners to go against their own beliefs and to what you are talking about, and nearly all the libertarians went crazy about it.

    Surely you cannot compel someone to perform an abortion or such if they feel a strong moral opposition to it?

    Surely, surely the rules of the market would say that the person seeking treatment can just go somewhere else?

    I?m not a Christian but I have a personal objection to abortion, similar in some ways to Ron Paul?s. It?s kind of stunning to read that I do not have the right to participate in the functions of government if I do not agree with its entire moral agenda.

  29. I’m anxiously waiting to see who Bush pardons on the last day of Judgement.

    I grant thee absolution. Go forth, my child, and sin no more.

  30. If the government is big enough, and the analyst is clever enough, you can show that just about any business is a beneficiary of the state.

    Could a Gaia worshiper get a job at a gas station and refuse to sell fossil fuels?

  31. I don’t suppose “repeal all subsidies and licensure” is even on the table…

  32. Abdul – “How is this being ‘rushed through?’ DHHS had submitted the proposed rule-making back in August.”

    You have to convert the numbers to Standard Government Time.

  33. BDB,

    We all indirectly “benefit” from government spending. That’s the point of government spending. Well, that and getting lobbyists to build your deck for free. Tying conditions to indirect benefits would really expand government power.

    Hospitals, OTOH, directly apply for the funds and know what they’re gettng into.

  34. Burger King indirectly benefits from government cash to agro subsidies.

    And the customers DRIVE ON GOVERNMENT ROADS to get there!!

  35. the hospitals in the proposed rule agreed to accept money from the Government with all strings attached.

    State money is all-pervasive…it sounds like you’re saying “accepting government money = government is in charge”. Does that follow in the case of the bailout? Nationalization is the answer?

  36. “If the government is big enough, and the analyst is clever enough, you can show that just about any business is a beneficiary of the state.”

    I think there’s a pretty clear distinction between being a passive and active recipient of state interference.

  37. Surely you cannot compel someone to perform an abortion or such if they feel a strong moral opposition to it?

    Why would a someone who is morally opposed to abortions be applying for a job to do abortions?

    This law is about not being able to refuse to hire someone who is morally opposed to abortions for a positions that has “-performs abortions” in the job description.

  38. But, a doctor should be forced to perform abortions or leave the profession…

    Er, no. The doctor could take any of a number of steps. She could voluntarily restrict her practice so that she doesn’t perform ANY surgeries, hence no abortions. She could abandon her exclusively OB/GYN practice and work as a gerneral practitioner, or at a desk job where she doesn’t have to treat patients.

    Doctors and pharmacists are smart people. No sympathy that they couldn’t foresee that they might be in these binds before they chose this career path.

  39. In a license-free world, the best pharmacies would have Ladies’ Nights.

  40. I do not support discrimination statutes, even if “Big Pharma” is such a heavy recipient of government largesse.

    Lobbyists lobby, but legislators have the option not to listen. Only actual government administrative offices should be prohibited from discriminating.

  41. The owner of a business decides which products or services she offers. The employee of a business does his job or gets canned. Is that really too complicated?

    You need a license to sell liquor, yet many outlets still refuse to carry one of my faves, Tullamore Dew. I live with that.

    The issue here is a little more complicated. Even liquor store employees are given some discretion in selling–when does someone look young enough that they have to be carded? What if the picture ID seems a little off and it can’t be explained by the buyer’s new haircut? When does someone appear drunk enough to deny the sale due to Dram Shop liability? Some of those judgment calls involve moral or ethical concerns as well.

    The health care profession provides even more opportunities for discretion which involve moral and ethical concerns than your average liquor store.

  42. Simple solution – get rid of pharmacists, and let people buy the medication they need without having to get a note from their doctor.

  43. JsubD,

    The owner of a business decides which products or services she offers. The employee of a business does his job or gets canned. Is that really too complicated?

    Sounds good.
    Of course the issue comes up in the reverse direction…does/should the license requirements include mandatory services that must be performed. Does having a liquor license require you to sell liquor (not a particular brand, but liquor)? Does a pharmacy license come with a requirement that you provide contraception (not a particular brand, but contraception)?

    If these requirements are implicit in the current system, then removing those requirements gets rid of the need for this policy.

    If they are not, rejecting this policy does not mean support for adding those requirements to licenses.

  44. Doctors and pharmacists are smart people.

    You’ve obviously never worked at a hospital nor a pharmacy.

  45. The health care profession provides even more opportunities for discretion which involve moral and ethical concerns than your average liquor store.

    Yes, and if you don’t like how that discretion is exercised, you’re free to try to get an abortion or birth-control somewhere else.

    Likewise, if your employer says “abortions are part of the job”, you shouldn’t get to invoke the Magic Sky Fairy to force your employer to pay you for not doing your job.

  46. This is what anti-discrimination laws lead to. Those that passed them are sowing what they reaped.

  47. The health care profession provides even more opportunities for discretion which involve moral and ethical concerns than your average liquor store.

    The liquor store examples you give are all practical concerns, regarding getting in trouble with the law. Opposing abortion or the morning after pill have nothing to do with that and are personal viewpoints. Your analogy is totally invalid.

  48. “I am waiting for the law that refuses discrimination by butcher shops against those who have religiously based aversion to the handling of pork.”

    Your wait is over (well, kind of). From a NY Times story last month about Muslim immigrants in the Midwest (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/16/us/16immig.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=grand+island%2C+nebraska&st=nyt):

    “Days later, a poultry company in Minnesota agreed to allow Muslim workers prayer breaks and the right to refuse handling pork products, settling a lawsuit filed by nine Somali workers.”

    Not sure why they had pork at a poultry company – I assume it was meat-packing more generally. And OK, there wasn’t a law passed; the company caved in response to a lawsuit.

  49. Why would a someone who is morally opposed to abortions be applying for a job to do abortions?

    It’s not that simple. The employee could change her religious beliefs after becoming employeed. The employer could re-assign her from a doc-in-the-box where the only surgery they do is simple procedures under local anaesthetic to a full-service hospital. She could be an ER doc and have (stupidly) never realized she might have to perform an emergency abortion…

    Also, never underestimate the potential of fundies to want to have it both ways, or cause trouble, or whatever. Remember, these people are not reality-based.

  50. does/should the license requirements include mandatory services that must be performed.

    The purpose behind licensure is public safety. The State has set out a minimum set of requirements to certify that a licensee is properly vetted to perform certain activities. It should not be mandated that he DOES perform these activities.

    Unless one thinks that a driver’s license means you HAVE to drive a car a certain number of hours a year…

  51. “I do not support discrimination statutes, even if “Big Pharma” is such a heavy recipient of government largesse.

    Lobbyists lobby, but legislators have the option not to listen. Only actual government administrative offices should be prohibited from discriminating.”

    I tend to agree with you. To a certain extent, though, when such a large portion of a company’s money comes from the government, they can barely be said to be “private” anymore. It creates a perversely tangled web of state and private ownership. I do think, for example, that companies like Blackwater and Haliburton should be subject to stronger regulations (of preferably not exist at all).

  52. A guy named “Abdul” is a Bush apologist.

    Is this a great country, or what?

  53. robc,

    This is what anti-discrimination laws lead to. Those that passed them are sowing what they reaped.

    Not really.
    Anti-discrimination laws all, to my knowledge, include a clause along the lines of “as long as the persons are qualified and can perform the job, you can’t use reason X to refuse them employment”

  54. The health care profession provides even more opportunities for discretion which involve moral and ethical concerns than your average liquor store.

    To further expand upon this, you are equating a liquor store employee refusing to sell to someone with a sketchy ID with a liquor store employee refusing to sell Nighttrain because “it gets people too drunk too fast”. The former is a practical business concern and the latter is personal.

    “That Nighttrain is a mean wine.”

  55. This post doesn’t make any sense. On the one hand there is

    “The proposed rule would prohibit recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to perform or to assist in the performance of abortions or sterilization procedures because of their “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

    But on the other hand there is

    “The tension between the moral choices of health professionals and the interests of their patients has never been resolved. After Roe v. Wade affirmed a woman’s right to obtain an abortion in 1973, Congress quickly passed the Church Amendments, permitting health care providers that receive federal funding to refuse to perform or assist abortions or sterilizations on moral or religious grounds. This means, for example, that Roman Catholic hospitals don’t have to offer these services but can still receive government money. The Church Amendments also prohibit employment discrimination against health care providers who object to abortion. ”

    How is the rule anything new if the Church Amendment already prohibits people from being compelled to perform abortions? Maybe it goes beyond just that. But the NYT article seems to imply that prohibiting the discrimination on the basis of refusing to perform an abortion or sterilization is something new. Which is it?

    Beyond that anyone who thinks that a hospital should have the right to force its doctors to perform abortions or lose their jobs is a whackjob. The medical field is a large field. People ought to be able to opt out of things that violate their beliefs without losing their jobs. To take the liquor store example above. The medical field is not a liquor store it is a grocery store. If you ran a grocery store that sold beer and wine and a few of your otherwise good employees said they can’t handle the beer and wine section for religious reasons, if you were anything but an intolerant dickhead, you would say fine and just put them to work doing other things.

    Admittedly there is a limit to this kind of thing. If accommodating people’s religion would end a particular lawful service, like being able to take a dog in a taxi or sell liquor in a store that only sells liquor, then that is a problem. So if these regulations really would make it impossible for hospitals to carry out lawful function, versus just making a reasonable accommodation for a few people who object, then they are bad. But the article doesn’t make that clear. It just lists out a bunch of accusations made without support.

    How would having a religious person working at a pharmacy prevent that pharmacy from giving out birth control? Can’t you just have someone else give out the birth control pills? Is there really going to be a wave of religious people trying to get hired by pharmacies to overwhelm the system and keep them from issuing the stuff? I doubt it. It seems more likely that most people won’t care and this will just make pharmacies make an accommodation to the occasional objector.

    Maybe this is a bigger deal that it appears. But there are no hard facts in either the article or Radley’s rant to indicate why it is.

  56. robc,

    This policy does not include the “can perform” clause. In fact it is the opposite of most discrimination laws in that it says you must hire them “even though they won’t” do the job.

  57. Doctors and pharmacists are smart people

    But I still maintain that some of them are certainly high-handedly self-righteous enought to ensure that they are in a position to refuse certain treatments. They will get kicks from their pulpit of superiority, oh and what kicks they will be!

    Does a pharmacy license come with a requirement that you provide contraception?

    YES

    http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/ECleg.htm

  58. NM,

    As long as the person is qualified to cut meet, I cant refuse to hire them becuase they wont touch pork.

    As long as the person is qualified to distribute drugs, I cant refuse to hire them because they wont distribute Plan B.

    I dont see the difference between those and other reason Xs.

  59. NM,

    What if a make “being white” part of a job description? Then I can refuse to hire based on race?

  60. robc,

    The job description would involve “cut pork” or “distribute Plan B” or there wouldn’t be an issue.

    The clause is not about qualified: it is qualified and ABLE to perform the job.


  61. As long as the person is qualified to cut meet, I cant refuse to hire them becuase they wont touch pork.

    As long as the person is qualified to distribute drugs, I cant refuse to hire them because they wont distribute Plan B.”

    You can, actually. The ultimate effect that these sort of regulations have is that, instead of applying for a job a “meat-cutter,” you apply for a job as “meat- and pork-cutter.”

    These are basically make-work regulations for bureaucrats and lawyers.

  62. Beyond that anyone who thinks that a hospital should have the right to force its doctors to perform abortions or lose their jobs is a whackjob.

    If your employer says “this is part of your job” and you say “I won’t do my job”….you’re fired.

    No one should be compelled to keep people on who won’t do their jobs, John. You may think the employer is a jerk, but it’s his right to be a jerk.

  63. “What if a make “being white” part of a job description? Then I can refuse to hire based on race?”

    Yes. Film and television production companies do this all the time.

  64. How would having a religious person working at a pharmacy prevent that pharmacy from giving out birth control?

    A smaller pharmacy, where only one pharmacist is in the building at any one time? Or a pharmacy with only one pharmacist period? Seems like this law would it illegal for the owner of the pharmacy to refuse to hire them. This is not really about compelling pro-lifers to do abortions, but more about compelling pro-choicers to hire pro-lifers.

  65. So is this like a welfare “jobs” program for religious conservatives?

    I have an opening for an abortion doctor, a doctor who refuses to perform abortions ( his job) applies and I have to hire him? I pay him to stay home? What?

  66. robc,

    What if a make “being white” part of a job description? Then I can refuse to hire based on race?

    Well, people certainly hire based on gender for certain jobs, but I believe the “being white” criteria is likely to be considered invalid and a way to exclude people for reason X rather than a job requirement. If you could spin the reason the job requires a specific race, you might be able to get away with it…I can’t imagine the job for which it would apply, however.

  67. Ah, the writers at reason…want to be able to do what they want, when they want, without any rules or regulations, unless you’re a pharmacist in which case you get to do exactly what you’re ordered to do with no exercise of conscience.

    I guess this means you have a “right” to your pills and to your transhumanist surgeries just like some people have a “right” to welfare and health care?

  68. Damn,

    Mike with the example.

    Of course. Actors.

    Thanks.

  69. Of course the issue comes up in the reverse direction…does/should the license requirements include mandatory services that must be performed.

    A license* grants permission to offer goods and/or services. It is not a requirement. A plumbing license is not a mandate to work on sewage systems.

    * Standard Libertarian Disclaimer #1 still applies.

  70. It seems to me that the emergency contraception issue is solved with just an iota of forethought. If you are a woman having or planning to have or are even capable of having sexual relations with a man who you have no current plans to have a child with, then acquire Plan B from somewhere and keep it in the medicine cabinet. It has a shelf life of four years. The next time a president is elected, buy a new pack and throw out the old one.

    This, of course, doesn’t mean that I think pharmacists should be able to dispense medicine on a moral basis. Suckle at the public teat, don’t complain about the flavor of the milk.

  71. This is not really about compelling pro-lifers to do abortions, but more about compelling pro-choicers to hire pro-lifers.

    Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

    This is a total bone-toss to the anti-abortion shitheads who would love to get pharmacists in place to start refusing to fill birth control prescriptions or doctors to refuse abortions.

  72. I think pharmacists should be able to dispense medicine on a moral basis.

    So anyone receiving any direct public benefits can be compelled to do something?

    Do my student loans for law school mean that I should be able to be compelled to study a certain area of law, even if I don’t want to?

  73. Dear Mr. Bailey,

    It would have been nice if you had credit the cartoon as coming from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer just like you credited the news item as coming from the NYT.

  74. “Suckle at the public teat, don’t complain about the flavor of the milk.”

    Heh. I’m going to steal this.

  75. “Drive on the public roads, don’t complain about showing your papers”

  76. Goverment-funded hospitals are open on Saturdays.

    Seventh Day Adventists refuse to wrok on Saturdays for religious reasons.

    Yet, Seventh Day Adventists currently do work at goverment-funded hospitals.

    Did I just blow your mind or what?

  77. “A smaller pharmacy, where only one pharmacist is in the building at any one time? Or a pharmacy with only one pharmacist period? Seems like this law would it illegal for the owner of the pharmacy to refuse to hire them. This is not really about compelling pro-lifers to do abortions, but more about compelling pro-choicers to hire pro-lifers.”

    The devil of course in the details. But, if you only have on pharmacist, then maybe that is an exception. Of course even then you are not denying birth control since it is not like there is only one pharmacy. I suppose you could dream up a situation where there is one pharmacy in a 20 mile radius and that pharmacy only has one pharmacist. In that case then yeah the pharmacy probably should be able to require their pharmacist to give out birth control. But that is a pretty rare exception. I seiously doubt that if this rule is implimented birth control or abortions would no longer be available in this country. I just don’t see how that would be the case. Maybe it would be, but I would like to see more evidence than just a few activists quoted in a newspaper article.

  78. “Do my student loans for law school mean that I should be able to be compelled to study a certain area of law, even if I don’t want to?”

    No, but it does mean you should be a little more understanding of how the state has grayed the line between the public and private sector. Of course, this was not accidental on their part.

  79. TAO,

    Many college loans/financial aid packages have such a requirement…do X or the terms of the loan change…do X or you have to reimburse us the money we payed for you education.

  80. “”Drive on the public roads, don’t complain about showing your papers””

    More like, lobby for a contract to build the public roads, don’t complain when people drive on it.

  81. John, you need to ask yourself why you’re pimping government regulations that prohibit discrimination.

    I doubt you like it when it’s used in reference to race and gender, so stop “suddenly wanting it” because a Republican interest group has suddenly started acting like a lefty interest group.

  82. It seems to me that the emergency contraception issue is solved with just an iota of forethought.

    Sure, but I imagine some (many?) of the consumers of the “morning after pill” are trying to compensate for a lack of forethought.

  83. Some of those judgment calls involve moral or ethical concerns as well.

    Annnnnnddddddd you’re officially a troll. No one could be dumb enough to seriously make that argument.

    “Why, you can’t have the morning after pill, I consider you to be a skank, you hussy!”

  84. Pharmacies are not contracted by government! There are no requirements implicit in the licensure. If you guys want to nationalize Big Pharma, please, be my guest. I’ll be here criticizing you for it, though.

  85. Sure, but I imagine some (many?) of the consumers of the “morning after pill” are trying to compensate for a lack of forethought.

    That’s what a surprise fall down the stairs and a fifth of Jack are for, dude.

  86. “Pharmacies are not contracted by government! There are no requirements implicit in the licensure. If you guys want to nationalize Big Pharma, please, be my guest. I’ll be here criticizing you for it, though.”

    TAO, it’s already been nationalized in all but name. And, FWIW, I don’t want to nationalize big pharma, I just want them to get their hands out of my wallet. I’d settle for that.

  87. So anyone receiving any direct public benefits can be compelled to do something?

    Pharmacists have their job by dint of public licensing. If handing out a legal drug to people with a valid prescription is beyond their capabilities, they should lose that license.

    RU 486 would be one thing, but BC and Plan B? Why, it’s almost like they want more women to get abortions. And if they think BC and Plan B are abortifacients, then they have proven themselves to stupid to do a job that consists of counting to five 6 to 12 times and then adhering a printed label.

  88. You need a license to sell liquor, yet many outlets still refuse to carry one of my faves, Tullamore Dew. I live with that.

    Bet if you asked real nicely, they’d order it for you. Bet if you showed up at a pharmacist looking for a drug they didn’t have in stock, they’d order that, too. The two situations are nothing alike; one is a matter of limited shelf space, the other is a matter of the holder of a government-issued monopoly using that monopoly to force other people to conform to their values.

    Yes, and if you don’t like how that discretion is exercised, you’re free to try to get an abortion or birth-control somewhere else.

    Not if the pharmacist or hospital is the only one for 50 miles and, thanks to government licensure, there’s no way for anyone to set up a rival business. If you take a license to run a government monopoly, you become a de facto agent of the government. That means you’re not a private actor any more, you’re a government contractor, which means if it’s legal, you have to provide it.

  89. I’d rather Big Pharma be given its welfare and left alone, rather than letting government impart all kinds of requirements just because you accept the money.

    You guys are letting Congress dictate social policy to everybody if you say “government benefits = suspension of choice”

  90. “This is a total bone-toss to the anti-abortion shitheads who would love to get pharmacists in place to start refusing to fill birth control prescriptions or doctors to refuse abortions.”

    How exactly would they do that? The law only says the business can’t discriminate against people who refuse. How exactly does that compel doctors to refuse? One doesn’t follow the other. To believe that this law will stop hospitals from providing abortions you have to believe either

    1. That are a large number of doctors and pharmacists out there who would stop providing such services if they could do so without losing their jobs, or

    2. That there is a large number of doctors and pharmacists out there who will start applying for jobs in hopes of overwhelming the system with objecting parties making it impossible for the hospitals and pharmacies to provide the services.

    Unless one of those things is true, these regulations just provide protection for the minority of doctors and pharmacists who refuse to do these things. Really, how many pharmacists actually object to giving out birth control pills?

  91. That’s what a surprise fall down the stairs and a fifth of Jack are for, dude.

    So next stop on the slippery slope: Carpenters refuse to build stairs, and Liquor stores refuse to sell Jack, for religious reasons.

    There’s even biblical precedent, Jesus stopped being a carpenter.

  92. And if they think BC and Plan B are abortifacients, then they have proven themselves to stupid to do a job that consists of counting to five 6 to 12 times and then adhering a printed label.

    “Alcohol can increase the effects.”

    Thanks, pharmacy dude! I knew that already–that’s what this bottle of tequila is for.

  93. If you take a license to run a government monopoly, you become a de facto agent of the government.

    A license to run a monopoly? You’re not making sense. It’s legal for you to take a cross-country trip…that doesn’t mean your driver’s license compels you to do so.

  94. “I’d rather Big Pharma be given its welfare and left alone.”

    I’d rather they not be given welfare, but hey, that’s me. I’m a libertarian.

  95. “A license to run a monopoly? You’re not making sense. It’s legal for you to take a cross-country trip…that doesn’t mean your driver’s license compels you to do so.”

    You’re not very bright.

  96. “John, you need to ask yourself why you’re pimping government regulations that prohibit discrimination.”

    If you want to get rid of all descrimination laws, this one included, you have my support. But if we are going to say that it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of religion, then we ought to do it fairly and not exempt our pet issues. More importantly, we ought to trufully examin the issue and not just throw out accusations that this law will cause this or that dire consiquence. As I explained above, I don’t see how it will cause any of the things the article claims it will.

  97. uh, Mike, Standard Libertarian Disclaimer #1 applies.

    And Jsub’s point is still salient: liquor licensees are not required to provide you with a certain kind of liquor.

  98. I always find it amusing to watch normally rational people like Ron and epi go batshit whenever Christians are involved in a story.

    “To hell with principle, whatever screws over those fundies I am for!”

  99. “But if we are going to say that it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of religion, then we ought to do it fairly and not exempt our pet issues.”

    John, it is literally impossible to do this fairly.

  100. Jay,

    Don’t forget me. I hate idiotry based on myths too.

  101. The law only says the business can’t discriminate against people who refuse. How exactly does that compel doctors to refuse? One doesn’t follow the other.

    Totally irrelevant. Forcing a business owner to hire someone who will refuse to give certain products to paying customers who want them is ridiculous.

    It’s like forcing the hiring of a rabid anti-gunner at the Sporting Goods store.

    “I’d like to buy that Benelli.”

    “No. Guns are bad, mm’kay.”

    “Well, fuck you then, I’m going to Bob’s Guns and never coming here again.”

    “Works for me!”

  102. “John, it is literally impossible to do this fairly.”

    So we will just fuck the people we don’t like. How wonderful. Lets flip this around. If a DA came out and said that he was on moral grounds no longer going to prosecute petty drug cases, Radley would be having a stroke when the government went to fire the guy. I can hear Radley waxing poetic about how the guy is making a moral stand and shouldn’t be compelled by the government to take immoral actions and enforce immoral laws. Some poor guy says he really doesn’t want to perform an abortion and Radley says fuck him, fire his ass today.

  103. No one is throwing out principle to attack Christians. We wouldn’t require Fundies to hire Atheists, either. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I support the rights of employers to only employ people who do their jobs. It has nothing to do with Christians and abortion.

    The only ones making an issue out of it are Bush and the Fundies.

  104. Epi,

    If you run a sporting goods store and someone says to you, “Can I work in the fishing department? I am a Quaker and don’t believe in guns”, you would fire them rather than just let them sell fishing rods? If so, you are just an intolerant prick who is worse than all of the people you claim to hate.

  105. John C. Jackson,

    I support the right of employers to hire whomever they want as well. But that is not the system we have. As I said above, if you want to end all of these sorts of laws this included, you have my support.

  106. “If you run a sporting goods store and someone says to you, “Can I work in the fishing department? I am a Quaker and don’t believe in guns”, you would fire them rather than just let them sell fishing rods? If so, you are just an intolerant prick who is worse than all of the people you claim to hate.”

    Not really. Someone who works in the fishing department may have to fill in some time, or run the register, or direct someone to the gun department.

    “I support the right of employers to hire whomever they want as well. But that is not the system we have. As I said above, if you want to end all of these sorts of laws this included, you have my support.”

    That was sort of my point when I said it was impossible to do this fairly. I do want to end this system.

  107. Sugarfree-

    Point taken. I will add you to the CDS (Christian Derangement Syndrome) list.

    Seriously, it’s like tossing a mouse into a herd of elephants. I outgrew fearing the boogeyman and the monster under the bed a long time ago.

    With the exception of Pat Robertson and a few others, Christians are people who just want to be left alone, are good people, and good member of society.

    You might want to get to know a few real ones.

  108. I dunno if it has been said but, shouldn’t this stuff be OTC anyways? You mean its not about the moral objections of a select few? You don’t say.

  109. One other thing, the dumb ass cartoon seems to imply that it is the Pharmacists duty to sell the woman what she wants. No it is not. It may be the pharmacist’s duty to sell what his employer tells him to, but every business should have the right not to sell a product if they chose to do so.

  110. 2. That there is a large number of doctors and pharmacists out there who will start applying for jobs in hopes of overwhelming the system with objecting parties making it impossible for the hospitals and pharmacies to provide the services.

    I think this scenario is at least plausible in the right part of country.

  111. “I think this scenario is at least plausible in the right part of country.”

    Plausible, theoretically. But a really, really stupid business move.

  112. A license to run a monopoly? You’re not making sense. It’s legal for you to take a cross-country trip…that doesn’t mean your driver’s license compels you to do so.

    You’re comparing two things that aren’t in any way similar. Get a license to run a pharmacy and that doesn’t mean that you’re compeled to open the pharmacy. That’s the equivalent to having a driver’s license but not driving. If you take the trip, or if you open the pharmacy, you’re required to obey the speed limit/act as an agent of the government.

  113. “I think this scenario is at least plausible in the right part of country.”

    Maybe it is. I honestly don’t know. But I would like to see some evidence of it before I freak out over this rule.

  114. You might want to get to know a few real ones.

    If one ever shows up, have him or her give me a call.

    I don’t get to have every kooky fucking thing I believe passed into law, why does the government extend the same courtesy to fundamentalist Christians? Oh, that’s right… mob rule.

  115. If you run a sporting goods store and someone says to you, “Can I work in the fishing department? I am a Quaker and don’t believe in guns”, you would fire them rather than just let them sell fishing rods? If so, you are just an intolerant prick who is worse than all of the people you claim to hate.

    I can be the biggest fucking intolerant prick I want to be if I own a business and someone who is morally opposed to part of my business wants to work for me.

    Are you fucking kidding me? You know that this person is almost guaranteed to try and undermine part of the business, and you want the government to force me to hire them? Get real, dude.

  116. You might want to get to know a few real ones.

    I do. Like my own sister.

  117. So we will just fuck the people we don’t like. How wonderful. Lets flip this around. If a DA came out and said that he was on moral grounds no longer going to prosecute petty drug cases, Radley would be having a stroke when the government went to fire the guy. I can hear Radley waxing poetic about how the guy is making a moral stand and shouldn’t be compelled by the government to take immoral actions and enforce immoral laws. Some poor guy says he really doesn’t want to perform an abortion and Radley says fuck him, fire his ass today.

    I doubt that would happen, John.

  118. The question is, what does this rule do? Does it really prevent people from obtaining birth control or abortions? Or does it just allow a few people to be accomidated without getting fired by bigoted assholes like Epi?

    If it is the former, then the rules are a terrible idea and should be stopped. If it is the latter, then the rules aren’t any worse than any other discrimination laws we have. Yes, we shouldn’t tell businesses who to hire, but this is a fly speck compared to all of the other laws we have and probably not worth getting to worked up about it.

  119. “If you open a pharmacy you’re required to act as an agent of the government.”

    Wow- that’s some twisted logic to get to that conclusion.

    That’s totally opposite to the libertarian principles I have learned on this site.

  120. “If it is the former, then the rules are a terrible idea and should be stopped. If it is the latter, then the rules aren’t any worse than any other discrimination laws we have. Yes, we shouldn’t tell businesses who to hire, but this is a fly speck compared to all of the other laws we have and probably not worth getting to worked up about it.”

    Eh, I’d beg to differ with you on this. When we are literally saying that someone can be forced to hire someone who, by definition, does not fit the job description, it’s a little worse than saying you’re not allowed to be a bigot.

  121. Are you fucking kidding me? You know that this person is almost guaranteed to try and undermine part of the business, and you want the government to force me to hire them? Get real, dude.

    Isn’t it cute how the people on the “shut up and do what you’re told” side would be in perfect sync with the fundies on the board if the issue was UAW assembly line worker that had a vision that told him to “Go forth and bolt no more!” instead of ickle precious babies?

    How about “hire anybody, fire anybody you want” rather than carving exceptions for protected religious classes?

  122. Epi-

    That’s one.

    Sugarfree-

    I think anti-discrimination laws are a crock. I think ADA is a crock. I think Title IX is a crock.

    That’s not the world we live in. If you are going to protect one “group”, you must be equitable. Even if they are those horrible Christians…

  123. “When we are literally saying that someone can be forced to hire someone who, by definition, does not fit the job description, it’s a little worse than saying you’re not allowed to be a bigot.”

    Doesn’t fit the job description? A pharmacy gives out X number of prescriptions every day. Of those say 1% or even 10% are birth control prescriptions. The guy still can fill 90% of the job. How is this any worse than making accommodations for the handicapped? We already force businesses to take less than qualified people and spend 1000s of dollars accommodating them under the ADA. How is this any different other than Libertarians hate religious people and like cripples? Again, if you want to get rid of both laws I am with you. But as long as we have one, it is difficult to object to the other.

  124. And besides, I’d rather see recalcitrant pharmacists stripped of the right to practice by the ethics board of their professional organization. Don’t want to dispense a legal drug with a person with a valid prescription? Fine, you don’t have to be burdened by the ethical quandary of being a pharmacist any longer.

    And the doctor who doesn’t want to perform abortions? He has a moral claim. You shouldn’t be forced to do something you consider to be against your medical oath. But a hospital shouldn’t be forced to continue to employ you either. There are plenty of Catholic hospitals.

  125. If you take the trip, or if you open the pharmacy, you’re required to obey the speed limit/act as an agent of the government.

    Are you serious right now? I’m an agent of the government when I drive on the roads?

    A license is just that: a license to do *a thing*.

    Construction contractors have licenses. It does not follow that a contractor must do all legal business sent his way. He must, however, operate safely when he does choose to do business.

    The same with pharmacists. They do not have to do all business sent their way. It’s just that when they DO engage in business, they must do so safely.

  126. Isn’t it cute how the people on the “shut up and do what you’re told” side would be in perfect sync with the fundies on the board if the issue was UAW assembly line worker that had a vision that told him to “Go forth and bolt no more!” instead of ickle precious babies?

    No. It isn’t.

    That’s not the world we live in. If you are going to protect one “group”, you must be equitable. Even if they are those horrible Christians…

    I don’t want to protect any group. And I certainly don’t want employers forced to hire people who may actively work to undermine that employer’s business.

  127. Truckers have licenses. Do they have to ship everything *legal* they are offered to ship?

    If a trucker has a moral objection to shipping birth control pills, he should not be made to ship them.

    If a pharmacist has a moral objection to dispensing birth control, he should not be required to dispense them.

    A license is permission, not compulsion.

  128. “Don’t want to dispense a legal drug with a person with a valid prescription? Fine, you don’t have to be burdened by the ethical quandary of being a pharmacist any longer.”

    So if I start a business, I have to do everything the government tells me. I can’t own my own pharmacy and refuse to dispense drugs I think are unsafe or immoral. The government has the right to take my license and compel me to do things that I object to. I can’t chose to run a business my way and let customers decide if they want to come to my business. I have to run it your way and sell everything you tell me to sell?

    Yeah that is a real commitment to freedom there Sugerfree.

  129. How is this any different other than Libertarians hate religious people and like cripples?

    Libertarians don’t support the ADA, John. Now you’re just being a troll.

  130. We already force businesses to take less than qualified people and spend 1000s of dollars accommodating them under the ADA

    It’s one thing to hire a guy in a wheelchair who can’t get the thing on the top shelf for the old lady. It’s another to hire a guy, that when a young female customer comes in for birth control pills, refuses to sell them to her, and even conceivably treats her like shit for wanting the pills. That’s a great way to build a customer base, right?

    Whoops, can’t fire him! I guess the customer isn’t always right.

  131. John, hospitals are employers. Doctors are employees. Failing to do what you’re told at your job = firing offense.

    You might not like it; you might think it’s a bad business practice. But it should be well within the hospital’s right to fire you for failing to do the job you’re told to do.

  132. NM,

    I can’t imagine the job for which it would apply, however.

    The obvious examples were already supplied. Actor on Friends, for example. 🙂

    I think salesperson at a white pointed hood company would also apply. But I bet the feds wouldnt allow that one thru if someone sued.

    My point is, it should be up to the individual employer. Allowing even the seemingly more legitimate anti-discrimination laws encourages the less legitimate type.

  133. “Doesn’t fit the job description? A pharmacy gives out X number of prescriptions every day. Of those say 1% or even 10% are birth control prescriptions. The guy still can fill 90% of the job. How is this any worse than making accommodations for the handicapped? We already force businesses to take less than qualified people and spend 1000s of dollars accommodating them under the ADA. How is this any different other than Libertarians hate religious people and like cripples? Again, if you want to get rid of both laws I am with you. But as long as we have one, it is difficult to object to the other.”

    You’ve got a point WRT accommodations for the handicapped, so I’ll concede that. The ultimate distinction here, I think, is the difference between legislation that is harmful, and legislation that is merely unnecessary. Prohibitions against, say, discrimination on the basis of race (I would argue) is merely unnecessary, since the market has a way of self-regulating for that. On the other hand, prohibitions on discrimination on the basis of ability or willingness to perform one’s job is harmful, since it works counter to market principles.

    Mind you, I agree that both are unjust, but one is clearly more harmful than the other, IMHO.

  134. Like the Lori Drew case, I’m seeing a lot of people shed their principles based on whose ox is being gored.

  135. “It’s another to hire a guy, that when a young female customer comes in for birth control pills, refuses to sell them to her, and even conceivably treats her like shit for wanting the pills. That’s a great way to build a customer base, right?”

    Yes Epi. Everyone who makes a religious objection to something is going to treat young women badly. Stereotype much there champ? No, what happens is the guy who objects goes and gets someone who doesn’t who then fills it. It is not that hard. If you didn’t hate anyone with religious beliefs you wouldn’t think it was so hard.

    Angry Optimist,

    EPI, doesn’t seem to have a problem with the ADA. I don’t see Reason complaining much about it. True, they should have a problem with it. But Libertarians only seem to get fired up when it involves people they don’t like.

  136. Epi is an anarcho-capitalist. Not to speak for him, but his objection to the ADA is implied.

    I don’t see Reason complaining much about it.

    That doesn’t mean you need to go the other way about it, John. You’re acting like a leftist: you want special exceptions carved out in law for your Party’s interest group.

  137. EPI, doesn’t seem to have a problem with the ADA

    Fan that strawman fire, John. When we are actually talking about the ADA you let me know.

    Everyone who makes a religious objection to something is going to treat young women badly. Stereotype much there champ?

    Are you willing to be on record saying this will never happen? Really?

    Because if it happens even once, it’s unacceptable. And since it will happen, it’s unacceptable.

  138. Let’s go to the tape:

    I said…
    I’d rather see recalcitrant pharmacists stripped of the right to practice by the ethics board of their professional organization.

    And then John said…
    So if I start a business, I have to do everything the government tells me.

    Since I was talking about a professional organization, and not the government, I assume you have no problem with what I said? A private organization can at least decide not to associate itself with people who think the Earth is 6,000 years old, right?

    Yeah that is a real commitment to freedom there Sugerfree.

    I’m perfectly content with my commitment to freedom. Install a gatekeeper with the implicit understanding that he’s to let through anyone with a key. He doesn’t want to do his job? Either get rid of the gate or fire the gatekeeper.

  139. You might want to get to know a few real ones.

    I invited him to go drinking with me and Citizen Nothing in december, but I havent got a response yet.

  140. If I run a pro-choice pharmacy, someone who fails to act in the way I tell them should be fired.

    If I run a pro-life pharmacy, the pro-choice blowhard who shows up and secretly fills scripts I tell him not to fill should be fired.

    A license is permission to do a thing, not a mandate to all things permissible under the licensure.

    A license is a measure of safety, although I readily concede that interest groups regularly make them behave as an obstacle to new entries into the marketplace. However, legislators don’t have to listen to the interest groups. Punish the people who pass the laws that fuck this all up. Don’t blame the lobbyists.

  141. SugarFree,

    If one ever shows up, have him or her give me a call.

    See my 12:44 post.

  142. I invited him to go drinking with me and Citizen Nothing in december, but I havent got a response yet.

    Where’s my invite, you Kentucky jerks? What am I, chopped liver?

  143. Angry Optimist,

    For the record, I can’t stand the ADA and think it was a terrible law. I would like to get rid of all of these laws. But, it should be noted that this law, unlike the ADA which applies to all businesses, only applies to those sucking on the government tit.

    I don’t see how this law is any worse or worthy of anymore scorn than any other anti-discrimination law or how any of the parade of horribles trotted out in the article would really occur.

  144. SugarFree,

    With the difference between doctors and pharmacists?

    There are plenty of Catholic hospitals.

    Do you have a problem with catholic pharmacies?

  145. robc,

    Don’t pout.

    I was just being an ass. Besides, I know plenty of decent, intelligent, consistent Christians. But none of them think that forcing people to believe like they do is a fine and good idea. And none of them could use a farcical construct like Christian Derangement Syndrome with a straight face.

  146. “Since I was talking about a professional organization, and not the government, I assume you have no problem with what I said? A private organization can at least decide not to associate itself with people who think the Earth is 6,000 years old, right?”

    If the “private organization” is backed by the full force of law and can prevent me from practicing my trade, it is not private anymore but the government. You are arueing that anyone who doesn’t toe the line to your beliefs should have their license taken away and no longer be able to legally conduct business. That is just totalitarian horseshit and you know it.

  147. Where’s my invite, you Kentucky jerks? What am I, chopped liver?

    It suggested an H&R meetup in Louisville when CN was going to be in town. All are invited.

  148. John, you should know better. Can the ABA strip you of your law license?

    Private organizations should not have the power to strip you of your license. The license was granted by the state and the state should be the one that takes it away.

    Allowing private organizations to take licenses is just going to facilitate furtherance of the de facto monopoly.

  149. With the difference between doctors and pharmacists?

    I believe I covered that with the BC =|= abortion construction.

    Do you have a problem with catholic pharmacies?

    Seek BC in a Catholic pharma and the scales of stupid tip toward you. If the local CVS would like to publicly align itself with a known anti-BC church and advertise the fact beforehand, fine. There’s an element of truth-in-advertising.

  150. SugarFree | November 18, 2008, 12:31pm | #

    And besides, I’d rather see recalcitrant pharmacists stripped of the right to practice by the ethics board of their professional organization. Don’t want to dispense a legal drug with a person with a valid prescription? Fine, you don’t have to be burdened by the ethical quandary of being a pharmacist any longer.

    Angry Optimist that is not what Sugar Free is saying. He is talking about taking away the right to do business from anyone who doesn’t toe the line. That kind of horseshit would not be tolerated on here if it were directed against any other group. But since it involves religion, Suger Free makes an outragous statement like that and I am the only one who calls him out for it.

  151. SugarFree,

    My point was you wanted pharmacists to be stripped of their license and doctors to just move to a new hospital. I just expected consistency.

    Of course, my consistency is to getting rid of all the anti-discrimination laws. Problem solved!

  152. John,

    I am the only one who calls him out for it.

    Really, the only one?

  153. I think they may Establishment Clause problems with this one. It will be interesting to read the opinion when this gets challenged in court (assuming it survives the Ascension long enough to make it to court).

    If the Bushies had applied the “reasonable accomodation” standard used when prohibiting employers from firing disabled people who can’t meet the usual job requirements, it would probably pass Constitutional muster and be no worse than other anti-discrimination standards. [insert Standard Libertarian Disclaimer here]

    Once you grant the employers can be prohibited from discriminating based on “race, creed or color”, its hard to say that they shouldn’t be prohibited from firing someone whose religious beliefs can be accomodated. However, these rules probably constitute special treatment or privileging of religious belief to the extent it goes beyond the usual anti-discrimination protections.

  154. RC Dean – are there not exceptions to “reasonable accommodation” i.e. where the accommodation will manifestly affect the employee’s ability to do the job?

    I mean, people in wheelchairs can’t be firefighters. I see an analogy.

  155. John,

    No, I’m taking about a professional being able to define it’s own ethics. The ABA doesn’t strip unethical lawyers of their license to practice? Dispensing legal drugs to those with a valid prescription is a simple enough ethical position to take, and a nice bright line you can avoid crossing to keep your license.

  156. And besides, I’d rather see recalcitrant pharmacists stripped of the right to practice by the ethics board of their professional organization. Don’t want to dispense a legal drug with a person with a valid prescription? Fine, you don’t have to be burdened by the ethical quandary of being a pharmacist any longer.

    Here in Motown, many pharmacies refuse to stock opioid pain killers due to crime. People will commit armed robbery against pharmacies for the Oxycontin(sp?) in stock.

    Many here seem to believe they should be forced put their employees lives at risk and stock these medicines.

    My proposed Administration of Pharmacy Inventory will no doubt solve that problem as well.

  157. The premise of “reasonable accommodation” always amused me. If an accommodation is reasonable, wouldn’t an employer do it anyway? Why is state force necessary? Legislation like this necessarily mandates unreasonable accommodation.

  158. The ABA doesn’t strip unethical lawyers of their license to practice?

    No. The ABA sets out what it thinks should be the standards (in the Model Rules of Professional Ethics), State Bar Associations (the actual force of law in the equation), can choose to adopt all, none or some of the MRPE.

  159. oops…the force of law is the “State Bar”, not its Association.

    The legislature of a state and the Supreme Court of the state generally have the power when it comes to the rules governing attorneys.

    Of course, all them conveniently are members of the ABA….but the ABA is a voluntary and private association.

  160. robc,

    Even though I didn’t express it clearly… while I think the “will hire” is total bullshit and I can’t believe anyone with a smidgen of libertarian leanings supporting beyond an obedience to religion, it is the doctor/pharm with known job duties in areas that he or she finds objectionable that will use this to object to doing those portions of the job that I object so strongly to and have no pity for.

    The “horseshit” here is that on any other job issue “hire at will, fire at will” would be fine on this board. It continues to be a portion of the Christians who are seeking special treatment.

    Catholic hospitals and pharms? You go to them for BC/abortions, you are justifiably SOL. Stagger into an ER with a developing miscarriage and they won’t give you an abortion to save your life? Fire them.

  161. “The ABA doesn’t strip unethical lawyers of their license to practice? Dispensing legal drugs to those with a valid prescription is a simple enough ethical position to take, and a nice bright line you can avoid crossing to keep your license.”

    The state bar association doesn’t force me to chose what area of law I practice. That is what you are arguing for here. You are saying that anyone who objects to giving out birth control pills cannot be a pharmacist even on their own time. That is just authoritarian bullshit. You would never support that in any other context. If the state bar association said that every attorney had to do contract work prosecuting drug cases or lose their license, would you support that? Enforcing the law is part of being a lawyer. How can any lawyer ethically refuse to enforce the law. By your logic they could do that. Of course you would go ape shit if they ever did because it would violate all of your principles of government. You should apply the same principles here.

  162. “Stagger into an ER with a developing miscarriage and they won’t give you an abortion to save your life? ”

    Not even the most ardent Catholic would refuse to save the life of the mother. Stop arguing strawmen and bigoted stereotypes.

  163. Thanks, AO. I didn’t know how that worked.

    I still believe that setting a simple ethical precept based on the basic function of the job is not some outrageous oppression.

    I’m an atheist archivist. If I refused to process and make available a Bible… fire the fuck out of me.

    And on that note, work has caught up with me. I’ll check back in later for more abuse. 😉

    (Sorry about the retarded emoticon thing… got sick of people not knowing when I was kidding…)

  164. Making someone use their labor involuntarily is slavery and anti libertarian. Doctors should have every right to refuse to perform any procedure they desire, as they own themselves and their labor, not the State.

  165. Doesn’t fit the job description? A pharmacy gives out X number of prescriptions every day. Of those say 1% or even 10% are birth control prescriptions. The guy still can fill 90% of the job. How is this any worse than making accommodations for the handicapped? We already force businesses to take less than qualified people and spend 1000s of dollars accommodating them under the ADA. How is this any different other than Libertarians hate religious people and like cripples? Again, if you want to get rid of both laws I am with you. But as long as we have one, it is difficult to object to the other.

    ADA is premised on the concept of the person fulfilling all of the job requirements. This law is premised on concept of the person not fulfilling the job requirements.

    Very different.

  166. If a pharmacist has a moral objection to dispensing birth control, he should not be required to dispense them.

    Yes, but should Walgreen’s be forced to hire that pharmacist.

    Remember, it’s not just that you need a phamacist’s license to open a pharmacy, you need to hire a licensed pharmacist if you want your store to be able to dispense medications even when you aren’t there. Or to run a branch if you choose to expand.

  167. It’s one thing to hire a guy in a wheelchair who can’t get the thing on the top shelf for the old lady. It’s another to hire a guy, that when a young female customer comes in for birth control pills, refuses to sell them to her, and even conceivably treats her like shit for wanting the pills.

    It’s one thing to hire a guy in a wheelchair who can’t get the thing on the top shelf without an accommodation, but can with that accommodation…

    An important distinction.
    ADA is about accommodations being made so that the job duties ARE performed.

  168. NM,

    But you may have to spend 1000s of dollars so that guy can do the job. I don’t see a lot of difference between that and having someone else do a small part of the person’s job for them. Further, you have to show that there is a business justification for every job requirement or you can’t make it a requirement.

    Suppose that someone was alergic to a certain kind of medicine and couldn’t dispense it as a pharmacist. If that alergy were a covered disability, which I think it would be, I don’t think a pharmacy could get away with not hiring them. The accomodation would be to just have someone else handle those medications. Unless you could prove that it was a business necessity that everyone of your pharmacists has to handle those medications, you would lose in court and have to hire the pharmacist.

  169. John,

    The entire concept of reasonable accomodation is itself a straw man, so you have no grounds to complain about the use of straw men.

    You know why it’s a straw man? Because I don’t need any accomodation. I will handle liquor, I will handle pork, I will work on Friday night and Sunday morning, I don’t care if you bring a dog in my cab, I’ll serve you RU-486, I will give you an abortion, I will marry two gays, I honestly don’t give a shit.

    And this law says that any employer who hires me over someone who needs a bunch of religious accomodations can be sued.

    That makes it an unjust law. Period.

    If I walk into a supermarket looking for a job at the same time as some religious fundamentalist who won’t touch certain products and won’t work certain days, it is completely appropriate and fair and just for the employer to say, “You know what? I’m gonna hire Fluffy because hiring this other guy would be a huge pain in the ass.” And any laws or regulations requiring employers to not draw appropriate, fair and just distinctions is abusive and wrong.

  170. If a pharmacist has a moral objection to dispensing birth control, he should not be required to dispense them.

    Yes, but should Walgreen’s be forced to hire that pharmacist.

    The questions that are raised in this thread are, to my mind anyway, simple. Of course not. You won’t do the job, you don’t get to hang around MY business.

    That goes for pork, birth conrol, liquor, porn and oh so many others.

  171. Fluffy,

    In the ideal world you make a good point. i agree that that is how it should be. But that is not how it is. The fact is that if two people apply for a job and one of them is disabled and will be a pain in the ass but competant, you will get sued if you don’t hire the disabled person and put up with the pain in the ass. I think the person who was alergic to medicine that I described above would have a good case under the ADA if pharmacies refused to hire them.

    My point is not that any of these laws are a good idea. They are not. My point is that this law is no worse than any of the rest and in fact pretty insignificant when compared to the other laws of this type.

  172. J sub D,

    It is amazing how few conflicts we would have if libertarians got to make the laws.

  173. Sugarfree-

    My CDS comment was part snark, part sarcasm.

    Believe it or not, I enjoy reading epi, Ron Bailey and you. You post cogent comments with some top shelf reasoning.

    The bashing just gets tiresome on this site sometimes.

  174. My point is not that any of these laws are a good idea. They are not. My point is that this law is no worse than any of the rest and in fact pretty insignificant when compared to the other laws of this type.

    OK, that’s fair.

    Although I would ask everyone to look at John’s post here, and remember it – it’s a pretty good example of why the quasilibertarians who say, “Why don’t you libertarians shut up about discrimination laws? It’s bad for the brand!” are all wet.

  175. I think the person who was alergic to medicine that I described above would have a good case under the ADA if pharmacies refused to hire them

    Allergies are not moral objections. Totally different animals and utterly irrelevant.

  176. “Allergies are not moral objections. Totally different animals and utterly irrelevant.”

    Moral objections are even more important. If I am going to have the government intervene on my behalf, I can think of few things I would want them to intervene on my behalf more than to protect my right to think and speak as I wished.

  177. If I am going to have the government intervene on my behalf, I can think of few things I would want them to intervene on my behalf more than to protect my right to think and speak as I wished

    This is proof positive that you fundamentally fail to understand what this entire issue is about.

    It is about forcing employers to hire people who have opposing views to how they run their business. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the ability to speak your mind.

  178. Fluffy,

    I don’t think libertarians should shut up about discrimination laws. They should continue arguing against them. But they should argue against them based on principle.

    That is not what Radley is doing here. He is just giving a bunch of bullshit horribles as justification for it being a bad law. I don’t think any of those horribles are true. The fact that Radley relies on them instead of just saying that he objects to the law because any employer ought to be able to chose whom they hire, makes it look like he is just pissed off Christians are getting protection. That and Sugerfree’s contention that no one who makes a moral objection to giving out certain drugs should be allowed to be a pharmacist is what got me riled up.

  179. And to take the bait, what kind of allergy to a medication would stop someone dispensing it. I handle toxic chemicals most days, and I rely on innovations like gloves, and packaging. Your argument would be better served it you just stopped making up completely ridiculous analogies.

  180. By the way, according to the NY Times article, the impetus for this rule seems to be Catholic hospitals being pressured to do abortions.

    Nothing is mentioned about the “fundies” pushing this ruling.

    Civil rights law allows employers to fire or not hire someone if their moral objection would be a detriment to the business. So, either the interpretation of the ruling is incorrect or it would be struck down.

    Hardly the fundie conspiracy, I think…

  181. “It is about forcing employers to hire people who have opposing views to how they run their business. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the ability to speak your mind.”

    No you don’t get it. It is about under what circumstances if any should the government intervene to tell employees they cannot discriminate. My point is that if there are any circumstances, it ought to be to protect people’s right to think and speak as they wish. Therefore since we already do intervene for things like alergies, this is not exactly a big leap and in fact probably a bit more desirable than what we are already doing. That doesn’t mean that it is better than not doing it at all. It only means that this is not that big of a deal compared to what is already going on. It only gets the attention of Reason because Reason can’t stand anything Religous.

  182. “By the way, according to the NY Times article, the impetus for this rule seems to be Catholic hospitals being pressured to do abortions.”

    How are they being pressured?

  183. Comparing this regulation to other anti-discrimination laws is not really valid. There is a big difference between discrimination based on race, sex or disability and that based on specific religious beliefs that would cause a person not to do a part of his job. Religion is a bunch of made up stories that you can chose to believe on or not. Race and sex you are pretty much stuck with. Being black in no way impacts on your ability to do whatever job you want to do. Refusing to distribute Plan B or to handle pork does.

    It is a huge step to go from accommodating allergies to accommodating religious beliefs. Religion is optional.

  184. “And to take the bait, what kind of allergy to a medication would stop someone dispensing it. I handle toxic chemicals most days, and I rely on innovations like gloves, and packaging. Your argument would be better served it you just stopped making up completely ridiculous analogies.”

    It is not rediculous. The point is the principle. You have to accomodate for handicaps, why not for religous beliefs?

  185. “It is a huge step to go from accommodating allergies to accommodating religious beliefs. Religion is optional.”

    It is just as illegal to discriminate against someone on the baiss of their religion as it is their race. It is not a huge step at all. Religion is a protected class under the law. Maybe you think that it should not be, but that is a different debate than this one.

  186. John, do firefighters have to “accommodate” people in wheelchairs?

    Then why should pharmacy businesses have to “accommodate” people who cannot do what pharmacies do?

  187. John

    From the article:

    The proposal is supported by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Health Association, which represents Catholic hospitals.

    Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association, said that in recent years, “we have seen a variety of efforts to force Catholic and other health care providers to perform or refer for abortions and sterilizations.”

  188. John, hospitals are employers. Doctors are employees. Failing to do what you’re told at your job = firing offense.

    Actually, it is not the case that hospitals employ doctors, although there may be a few states that allow it.

    Hospitals allow physicians to practice at the hospital through their credentialing and privileging process. Kicking a physician off the medical staff because he or she refuses to perform a given procedure is completely unheard of.

    And this law says that any employer who hires me over someone who needs a bunch of religious disability accomodations can be sued.

    That makes it an unjust law. Period.

    I would agree with that. In either version.

    My point is that this law is no worse than any of the rest

    I haven’t read the rule, but the description in the article (administer one (1) unit of grain of salt, stat!) makes no reference to reasonable accomodation, and makes it sound as if this is a flat-out prohibition on firing someone because they refuse to provide certain services, regardless of the employer’s inability to accomodate them.

    Example: CVS staffs its pharmacy with one pharmacist at a time. Accomodating that pharmacist’s refusal to dispense birth control would require hiring another pharmacist. That would not be a reasonable accomodation, and so CVS could, under reasonable accomodation standards, decline to hire a pharmacist who refuses to dispense birth control. I don’t read this account of the rule to allow CVS to do that.

  189. John, it’s illegal to discriminate against religion when that belief is not material to the position at hand.

    What if a progressive Christian is working at the BK and starts handing out food for free to anyone who asks? Does BK have to accommodate him then?

  190. It only gets the attention of Reason because Reason can’t stand anything Religous.

    Is your persecution complex starting to chafe yet?

    My point is that if there are any circumstances, it ought to be to protect people’s right to think and speak as they wish

    What the fucking hell are you talking about with this shit that you refuse to back away from? Who is being told how to think or speak? I cannot believe how stupid this is.

  191. It only gets the attention of Reason because Reason can’t stand anything Religous.

    Religion is the most invalid basis for public policy. That’s why it gets a lot of attention. Legally forcing people to adhere to your religious beliefs only looks valid because they are your religious beliefs. Pass a law saying you have to pray to Mecca 5 times a day and you’d have an aneurysm, John.

    I’ve said to the leftists and now I have to point it out to you: You are comfortable with mob rule as long as your mob is doing the ruling.

  192. Not sure if anyone’s brought this up yet, but I take birth control pills for reasons OTHER than actual birth control. What then? Should they have the right to refuse my prescription if it’s not for actual birth control?

  193. Angry Optomist-

    I agree with you completely. What is unclear to me from Ron’s post and the NY Times article is if this would invalidate civil rights law that would allow employers to fire someone or not hire someone whose beliefs prevent them from doing a job even with reasonable accommodation.

    My wife is a nurse, working at a state hospital, and she, nor any doctor, has to perform abortions- they can opt out without penalty. She didn’t even have to perform them during her training.

    What I object to is the knee jerk bashing rather than the usual reasonable discourse on this subject.

  194. Epi, this dude is wayyyy out there where the buses don’t run. Fun as it has been, I am going to stop belittling/arguing with a person who’s arguments are not even wrong.

    He may of course just be some kind of troll who is really going for it now.

  195. Sorry, about the jumping down your throat then Jay. Sarcasm is hard on the intarwebz, yo.

    But, that said… I really only hate on the religious when they try to impose it on me*. Other than that I surprisingly tolerant of beliefs different from mine, or, at least, I make no more fun of them than everything else…

    *Deciding imposition is good fodder for debate.

  196. @2:14:

    There are no girls on the internet.

  197. @Kolohe

    There’s at least one. 😉 Or do I have to give up my membership card since I got on the intertubes? 😉

  198. “Religious Beliefs of Health Care Workers to Trump Those of Patients”

    This headline does not make sense any way I read it, by the way.

    People who don’t want to participate in medical procedures they find abhorrent have a simple solution: They can choose to work elsewhere.

    Likewise, people who find that a provider does not provide the service they want, can go elsewhere.

  199. Not sure if anyone’s brought this up yet, but I take birth control pills for reasons OTHER than actual birth control. What then? Should they have the right to refuse my prescription if it’s not for actual birth control?

    Don’t confuse John. He’s busy enjoying his fantasy of persecution and quashed speech.

  200. Sugarfree-

    No problem. I used to be an arch conservative, but now I totally agree with you. Legislating morality is bad.

    Over the past few years, I ran into libertarians (friends, neighbors) who talked to me about something else than legalizing drugs and prostitution. I found that I was a small government person all along, and have philosophically become a libertarian.

    I like this site, and the mostly sensible discussion that goes on here.

    I look forward to reading your posts in the future!

  201. a girl,

    Don’t be surprised when you grow a wiener tonight. That’s all he’s saying. He used to be Chloe, for example. And I had to throw away all my ballet flats.

  202. I look forward to reading your posts in the future!

    Reconciliation is bad for the internet. It makes Al Gore cry. 😉

  203. “Is your persecution complex starting to chafe yet?”

    It is funny. I am not even religious. I don’t even go to church. I am probably one of the least religous people you will meet. But I know bullshit bigotry and narrowmindednes when I see it. Reason is the worst about it when it comes to religion. Since I am not religious, it doesn’t effect me but it still pisses me off.

    I saying the same thing that Jay is saying. If this rule really would prevent pharmacies from firing people where they could not make a reasonable accomodation or really would in any significant way prevent people from obtaining legal products, then it is a bad law. It is just unclear that that is the case from either the post or the article. But since it is religion, the Reasonites never ask questions just have a knee jerk reaction.

  204. John, for the last time, should fire stations have to make reasonable accommodations for people in wheelchairs?

  205. SF-

    Well, I would hate to traumitize manbearpig.

    So, shut up, dickweed!

    Better?

  206. Anyone else notice that not only has John backed himself into a corner with his discourse, he has even gotten turned around so far as to equate religion or religious beliefs with disabilities.

    I’d like to see him tell a fundie that they’re actually disabled, and as such, they qualify for protection under the ADA…

  207. “Religion is the most invalid basis for public policy. That’s why it gets a lot of attention. Legally forcing people to adhere to your religious beliefs only looks valid because they are your religious beliefs. Pass a law saying you have to pray to Mecca 5 times a day and you’d have an aneurysm, John.”

    Where did I ever say that? Pass a law that says I can’t fire a Muslim for praying five times a day and I will object to it on principle but not be too offended by it. If I run a business and have an employee who wants to pray five times a day, I will make accommodations for him if I can and let him do it. Why? Because I actually believe that it is a free country and he can believe anything he wants and as long as he is an otherwise good employee, what do I care who he prays to?

    The thing if Sugar free, while I am not religious myself, I am not an ignorant bigot and don’t have some chip on my shoulder about it and don’t find religion or religious beliefs threatening. For that reason, I find it easy to tolerate people who are, unlike me, religious.

  208. “John, for the last time, should fire stations have to make reasonable accommodations for people in wheelchairs?”

    Can they make reasonable accomodations? Would making accomodations would prevent you from doing your job? If the answer is yes, then reasonable accomodations cannot be made and the law doesn’t apply. You are not really asking a particularly well formed question.

    Ao, we really are not disagreeing here. I don’t get what you are saying.

  209. I’m going to become a Quaker and demand a job in a factory that makes explosives for use in bombshells.

    And then, lucky me! My disability entitles me to a job not doing the very thing I was hired to do!

  210. John – IF the nature of the job at the pharmacy entails [in part] dispensing Plan B and Birth-Control Pills, THEN the employer cannot make a reasonable accommodation. Especially if the business model states that there is only one pharmacist on duty.

  211. “Anyone else notice that not only has John backed himself into a corner with his discourse, he has even gotten turned around so far as to equate religion or religious beliefs with disabilities.”

    In a sense they are because like race disability and sex, religion is a protected class. That is why the analogy is relevent. I haven’t backed myself into a corner at all. The point is that this is no different than everyone other discrimination law on the books, no better or no worse and there is no evidence the parade of horribles listed in the article is actually true. That only caused the mob to go apeshit because they go apeshit over anything involving religion. If the government came down and started forcing people to tattoo 666 on their foreheads, there are people on here who would think it was great because they love anything that pisses off anyone who is religous.

  212. “John – IF the nature of the job at the pharmacy entails [in part] dispensing Plan B and Birth-Control Pills, THEN the employer cannot make a reasonable accommodation. Especially if the business model states that there is only one pharmacist on duty.”

    What is the “nature of the job”? I think you could argue that not being able to do 1 out of every 100 things in the job description because you are part of a protected class, is a pretty big stretch to argue it is the “nature of the job”.

    Take the example of the prayer rug. It is the nature of being a store clerk to be there to run the cash register at all times. What if a Muslim wants to get five short breaks a day to pray to Mecca? Suppose it is a big store where you could have someone else take his place or just have one less register running. Would a store really get away with not hiring Muslims to be clerks because they couldn’t be at their posts for the entire shift? I really doubt they could. The Muslims would argue changing the schedule around a bit would be ” reasonable accommodation” and probably win. The same thing is true here. Why can’t you just have another pharmacist fill those orders? Yeah, maybe you only have one guy, in which case you might win, but otherwise if the Muslims win the pharmacists probably win to.

  213. I am really surprised of the outrage of the author and the comments over the rights of the health care workers choosing not to do something they feel uncomfortable with. I am an anesthesiologist who is morally against abortion for birth control reasons. Should I be forced to do the anesthetic for one? In my training and in my career I have always been able to opt out on these procedures and one of my partners has performed the anesthetic. What is wrong with that? I love being a libertarian and not forcing others to do things they don’t want to do.

  214. I like this site, and the mostly sensible discussion that goes on here.

    Doesn’t that just scream n00b?
    😉 to Jay.

  215. In a sense they are because like race disability and sex, religion is a protected class.

    Keeping in mind that I disagree with ALL employment discrimination laws, I do have to say that including religion as a protected class is particularly stupid.

    The other protected classes are characteristics that are beyond choice. Religion is not. A black guy can’t stop being black. All that is needed to stop caring about handling pork is to fucking stop caring about it. In that sense, the employee or potential employee’s defiance of their job’s requirements is wilful in the case of a religious objection, where it’s not wilful to be a girl or to have no legs. Even if you somehow convinced me that I should make reasonable accomodation for a guy with no legs, you could never convince me that there’s any such thing as a reasonable accomodation for some dumbass who just obstinately refuses to touch pork.

  216. When I was a public-school teacher — and thus vested with a petty amount of authority by the government, since I taught a class you HAD to pass if you wanted a diploma — my right to free speech and freedom of religion did NOT mean I was allowed to harangue my students with lectures like “Your religious beliefs are stupid and wrong; you should believe what *I* believe instead.”

    There’s a related principle with pharmacists, I think; due to stupid government licensing regulations, a pharmacist does, in fact, have a certain amount of government-granted authority over people (in that it’s illegal to get medication without going through a doctor and a pharmacist first), and I don’t think pharmacists should be allowed to use their authority to force patients to abide by their religious principles, anymore than I should’ve been allowed to tell my students “Write an essay explaining why your religion is bullshit or else you won’t get your diploma.”

    And if I’m convinced that I have a moral obligation to tell kids their religion is stupid, fine. But I have to do that on my own time, not when I’m working a job and exercising authority and privileges granted me by the government.

  217. ‘Even if you somehow convinced me that I should make reasonable accomodation for a guy with no legs, you could never convince me that there’s any such thing as a reasonable accomodation for some dumbass who just obstinately refuses to touch pork.”

    That is a question of personal choice. I don’t have a problem with the guy who refuses to handle pork. I think it is crazy, but it is his business. If I could make a reasonable accomodation for him I would. I wouldn’t bend over backwards for him but if he was a good guy and an otherwise good employee I would. I would rather have one good employee I had to work with a bit than a bad employee of any kind.

    But you are right, the whole area of the law needs to be canned. We needed race descrimination laws back in the day but that time has passed. We should let people hire who they want.

  218. Should I be forced to do the anesthetic for one?

    WTF are you talking about, dude? How, in any way, are you forced to do anything? I cannot believe how dense some people are. We are talking about forcing employers to hire people who will refuse to do certain procedures or sell certain items. It has NOTHING TO DO with forcing you to work on abortion. Got it?

  219. “I don’t think pharmacists should be allowed to use their authority to force patients to abide by their religious principles”

    So when CVS doesn’t sell something you want, they are forcing you to abide by their beliefs?

  220. But you may have to spend 1000s of dollars so that guy can do the job. I don’t see a lot of difference between that and having someone else do a small part of the person’s job for them.

    ADA makes it clear that the accommodations need to be reasonable.

    http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/accommodation.html

    An employer never has to provide any reasonable accommodation that causes undue hardship, meaning significant difficulty or expense. Undue hardship refers not only to financial difficulty, but to reasonable accommodations that are unduly extensive or disruptive, or those that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business.

    Every request for reasonable accommodation should be evaluated separately to determine if it would impose an undue hardship, taking into account:

    * the nature and cost of the accommodation needed;
    * the overall financial resources of the business; the number of persons employed by the business; and the effect on expenses and resources of the business;
    * the impact of the accommodation on the business.

    If cost is an issue, an employer should determine whether funding is available from an outside source, such as a state rehabilitation agency, to pay for all or part of the accommodation. In addition, the employer should determine whether it is eligible for certain tax credits or deductions to offset the cost of the accommodation. Also, to the extent that a portion of the cost of an accommodation causes undue hardship, the employer should ask the individual with a disability if s/he will pay the difference.

  221. Fluffy,

    Even by your standards, protecting a class like religion makes sense in certain situations. Jews, for example, can be non-observant, even atheist, but they aren’t a race, color, or national origin.

    Jennifer (and many other posters making the same mistake): this proposed reg only applies to government-funded facilities (like a VA hospital), not pharmacy licenses in general or drugstores.

  222. Epi – in all fairness, we had some people upthread (and, unless she’s changed her mind, Jennifer believes this as well) that argued that because the government licenses pharmacists that they should NOT be permitted to dispense their labor as they please.

  223. If I owned a pharmacy and one of my pharmacists refused to fill birth control prescriptions, his ass would be looking for a job in no time. Do you know how profitable the pill is? All of the sudden, one of my employees decides he doesn’t want me making a profit on a monthly cash flow. That’s the problem with this.

  224. “We are talking about forcing employers to hire people who will refuse to do certain procedures or sell certain items”

    Take it up with Suger Free and Jennifer who are both claiming that no pharmacist has any right to refuse to dispense any legal drug regardless of what their employer says. Some are saying just that.

  225. I don’t think pharmacists should be allowed to use their authority to force patients to abide by their religious principles

    Jennifer, I realize it has been asked once, but really…how is the pharmacist forcing you to abide by his religious principles? Are you entitled to Plan B and The Pill? Like, by law?

  226. Devil is in the details New Mexican. If you are a big business with a lot of money, a few grand will not cause undue hardship and you will have to do it.

  227. TAO and John — fine, others may have made that claim upthread. I never did.

  228. If the task/duty is central to the job and you need the employer to make unreasonable accommodations to perform it, ADA doesn’t protect you. If you can’t do the job, ADA doesn’t protect you.

    If the proposed policy was based on the model of ADA and abortion or dispensing birth control was central to the job, the policy wouldn’t protect you from discrimination based on your religious beliefs if you were asking for an unreasonable accommodation or were not able to perform the central functions of the job.

    Has anyone seen the draft language?
    I bet that it doesn’t make this distinction clear.

  229. Jennifer, I realize it has been asked once, but really…how is the pharmacist forcing you to abide by his religious principles? Are you entitled to Plan B and The Pill? Like, by law?

    No moreso than my students were entitled by law to graduate high school. So if I choose to make them jump through additional hoops based on my religious beliefs (or lack thereof) they shouldn’t complain, right?

    If all drugs were sold over-the-counter I’d agree with anybody’s right to refuse to sell them, same way now I agree with any store’s right to sell Hostess in lieu of Tastykakes. But I can’t buy certain vital medicines OTC; I have to first go through a government-designated gatekeeper, and he shouldn’t be allowed to abuse his petty authority by putting additional roadblocks in the way.

  230. But I can’t buy certain vital medicines OTC; I have to first go through a government-designated gatekeeper

    So? you have to go through a government-designated hairdresser to get your hair done. That doesn’t make you entitled to waltz into any salon and get your hair done.

    You have to go through a government-designated trucker to get your goods shipped. That doesn’t mean the trucker should have his choice suspended.

  231. So if I choose to make them jump through additional hoops based on my religious beliefs (or lack thereof) they shouldn’t complain, right?

    In that hypothetical, the students are the customers, meaning they cannot make YOU teach the way THEY want.

  232. John | November 18, 2008, 3:03pm | #
    Devil is in the details New Mexican. If you are a big business with a lot of money, a few grand will not cause undue hardship and you will have to do it.

    Yes, and it will not be a hardship…your point?

    The point of the rule is that the business does not have to suffer from the accommodation.

    A undue hardship would include the fact that the job doesn’t get done. Or that it cause significant disruption to the business.

    How many pharmacies have TWO pharmacists on duty at any time? Having customers have to adjust their purchases to the times when a specific pharmacist is available seems to me to be an example of a disruptive accommodation.

  233. Abdul,

    A quick search of the proposed policy fails to find these terms:

    Accommodation
    job duties
    undue burden
    hardship

    ’nuff said?

  234. Abdul,

    If a non-observant atheistic Jew is still a Jew, that makes Jewishness an ethnicity in addition to being a religion.

    Historically the bias against Jews has mimicked racial bias, since even Jews who converted to Christianity often still faced bias and persecution.

    It’s an odd category because it’s a religion that many bigots insist on treating as if it were a race or an ethnicity.

  235. It’s an odd category because it’s a religion that many bigots insist on treating as if it were a race or an ethnicity.

    It’s also an odd category because it’s a religion that many Jews insist on treating as if it were a race or an ethnicity.

  236. Fluffy,

    Jewish as a race has as much or as little reality as other racial categories. I feel like the current anti-islamic bigotry is similarly “race-like” in the way it is conceptualized by the bigots.

    Racial categories are inherently arbitrary.

  237. J sub D-

    I was thinking of the trolls, not people I disagree with. It’s fun to see the regulars here skewer the trolls, I admit, but the trolls are usually not sensible.

    Epi and SFree, who I have disagreed with, are sensible, unless they have had cheap tequila.

  238. Neu Mejican,

    I’m not surprised, because this conversation went way off track with discussion of reasonable accomodation and comparison with ADA.

    You’ll also notice that this proposed regulation protects health care workers who have provided abortions, or advocate abortions, from discrimination as well.

  239. I find the woman in the cartoon attractive.

  240. TAO,

    You have to go through a government-designated trucker to get your goods shipped. That doesn’t mean the trucker should have his choice suspended.

    Look again at Jennifer’s argument.
    Your comparison is inapt.
    Truckers are, essentially, OTC.

  241. Abdul | November 18, 2008, 3:39pm | #
    Neu Mejican,

    I’m not surprised, because this conversation went way off track with discussion of reasonable accomodation and comparison with ADA.

    You’ll also notice that this proposed regulation protects health care workers who have provided abortions, or advocate abortions, from discrimination as well.

    Off-track indeed.

    This policy is a much different animal because it is addressing a much different issue…John’s insistence on the parallels notwithstanding.

  242. So? you have to go through a government-designated hairdresser to get your hair done. That doesn’t make you entitled to waltz into any salon and get your hair done.

    Actually, the way the law works now, I AM entitled to do so, so long as I have the money to pay for it. Yet even a vain-about-my-hair woman such as myself sees a huge distinction between “not being able to get a haircut” and “not being able to get the medication I need.”

    I can — and do — cut my own hair, but I’m not capable of making my own medications, and even if I were it would be illegal. So I say again: since the government has put legal roadblocks between myself and certain necessities, those hired to be the roadblocks shouldn’t be allowed to capriciously add additional roadblocks of their own.

    At any rate, I know of no hairdressers who would refuse to cut my hair on the grounds “You’re not married! It’s immoral for you to make your hair attractive for any man other than your legally wedded husband!”

  243. Abdul,

    The problem is, according to NM’s scan of the law, there is no reasonable accommodation clause. TAO’s example of the dearth of firefighters in wheelchairs is an example of ADA reasonable accommodation. CVS and Walgreen’s (and most other pharmacies) generally have a single pharmacist on premise at a time. Having a pro-life pharmacist that refused to dispense Plan B or the pill would require doubling employment and becomes an unreasonable accommodation, if the owner wishes to sell them. If the pharmacist wishes no not dispense them, s/he should work for a Catholic hospital or start their own pharmacy.

  244. I’m not capable of making my own medications, and even if I were it would be illegal.

    What do pharmacists have to do with this?

  245. Mo,

    A closer look at the law shows it to be, primarily, an attempt to exclude birth control and abortion services from the required scope of practice for these professionals. It is an attempt by government to define what the job does and does not entail…

    It restricts the employer from using the argument that the job’s primary duties include abortion (etc.) to justify the firing/not hiring.

    In many ways it is the opposite of ADA in that it says the employer CAN’T use an undue burden claim to justify firing/not hiring. In that sense it mandates accommodations for the religious belief regardless of the burden it causes.

    Like I said above…much different.

  246. You’ll also notice that this proposed regulation protects health care workers who have provided abortions, or advocate abortions, from discrimination as well.

    Oh well that makes everything much better, and fair, now all those pro-choice doctors that sneak in abortions in Catholic hospitals, and all those pro-choice pharmacists that clandestinely put birth control and plan-B pills into the purses of unsuspecting women while they peruse the goods at the local pro-life pharmacy have nothing to worry about.

  247. Abdul,

    You’ll also notice that this proposed regulation protects health care workers who have provided abortions, or advocate abortions, from discrimination as well.

    Actually, I didn’t notice that in my quick scan.
    Are you sure that is in there?

  248. If a woman has a right to choice, then why not health care professionals.

    One can say that if health care providers don’t want to perform certain proceedures or dispense certain meds, then they should have taken the job.

    But if that’s so, then one could just as easily say that if a woman doesn’t want to have a baby shouldn’t have taken the cock.

  249. That should read “shouldn’t have taken the job”. Damn these Wal-Mart glasses!

  250. All: Sorry to be late in joining in – busy with other stuff this afternoon. But I thought I would inject the actual proposed language from the regs below. I think you’ll find them to be very broad in application indeed. If you want to read more, go here.

    Assist in the Performance: The Department, in considering how to interpret the term “assist in the performance,” seeks to provide broad protection for individuals’ consciences. The Department seeks to avoid judging whether a particular action is genuinely offensive to an individual. At the same time, the Department wishes to guard against potential abuses of these protections by limiting the definition of “assist in performance” only to those actors who have a reasonable connection to the procedure, health service or health service program, or research activity to which they object.
    Therefore, the Department proposes to interpret this term broadly, as encompassing individuals who are members of the workforce of the Department-funded entity performing the objectionable procedure. When applying the term “assist in the performance” to members of an entity’s workforce, the Department proposes to include participation in any activity with a reasonable connection to the objectionable procedure, including referrals, training, and other arrangements for offending procedures. For example, an operating room nurse would assist in the performance of surgical procedures; an employee whose task it is to clean the instruments used in a particular procedure would be considered to assist in the performance of the particular procedure.

  251. and that should have read “doesn’t want to have a baby then she shouldn’t have taken the cock.

    I cain’t wait for Obama’s Universal Vision Care plan!

  252. cain’t?

  253. Neu & Abdul: I just scanned through the proposed reg and found no language protecting employees who advocate abortion or sterilization. Could Abdul point out the language he thinks is in there, please?

  254. Jennifer (and many other posters making the same mistake): this proposed reg only applies to government-funded facilities (like a VA hospital), not pharmacy licenses in general or drugstores.

    I believe that is incorrect. As I read the story, the reg applies, like many others, to anyone taking federal money, which includes any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare patients, and any pharmacy that fills Medicare prescriptions. IOW, all of them.

    I’m not surprised, because this conversation went way off track with discussion of reasonable accomodation and comparison with ADA.

    I think I started that, trying to make the point that this reg does not appear to allow reasonable accomodation and thus affords protection to religious believers that is not afforded to, for example, the disabled.

  255. Assist in the Performance: The Department, in considering how to interpret the term “assist in the performance,” seeks to provide broad protection for individuals’ consciences.

    Hell now that could mean that even if the pharmacist fills a birth control prescription, the cashier can refuse to ring the purchase through the cash register.

  256. Ron,

    Sounds like hanging up on a call from customer who asks if the service is available would be protected.

    Sounds like the janitor wouldn’t have to empty the garbage in certain rooms.

    Sounds like the parking lot attendant wouldn’t have to let the car into the parking lot.

  257. This “pharmacists are public employees” line of argument is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

    1. Are you REALLY saying that you’d be OK with moral withholding if there were private, competing pharmacies? Because I read in Bailey’s argument a RIGHT TO the medicine, period. I bet if you pushed him, he’d say he was GLAD we have public leverage to make these people dispense drugs.

    2. The conscience argument creates competing markets between those who will and won’t dispense, just like smoking bans could have been imposed by a market.

  258. I’m going to buck the trend here and be a pariah amongst liberaltarians: the gum’ment needs to stay out of businesses! Even health care businesses! Even health care businesses who don’t want to provide abortions! Really!

    The government should not be telling employers who they may or may not fire. But neither should it be compelling health care workers to perform abortions. If you don’t like the fact that your doctor is religious, FIND ANOTHER DOCTOR! Is he the only doctor in town? GO TO A DIFFERENT TOWN! Ditto for the other side. If you don’t like the fact that your employer demands that you perform abortions, GET ANOTHER JOB!

  259. here it is at 88.4(c)


    Entities to whom this paragraph (c) applies shall not:
    (1) Discriminate against any physician or other health care professional in the employment, promotion, termination, or extension of staff or other privileges because he performed or assisted in the performance, or refused to perform or assist in the performance of a lawful sterilization procedure or abortion on the grounds that doing so would be contrary to his religious beliefs or moral convictions, or because of his religious beliefs or moral convictions concerning abortions or sterilization procedures themselves;

  260. RC Dean,

    I think I started that, trying to make the point that this reg does not appear to allow reasonable accomodation and thus affords protection to religious believers that is not afforded to, for example, the disabled.

    Your point was valid, and then ignored…things went off rails when the policy was being justified because it WAS JUST LIKE ADA, which it clearly isn’t…in a lot of ways.

  261. Abdul,

    Thanks.

  262. RC Dean:

    By governement funded, I meant facility that recieves funds from DHHS. VA was a poor example. Still, this reg doesn’t apply to drugstores.

    Walgreens is safe for all you fornicators!

  263. Devil’s in the details.

    I wonder why 88.4(c) is in there given the rest of the policy. It seems to be a lame attempt at balance that creates other problems.

    Imagine the doctor who regularly used the hospital’s facilities to perform abortions against the policy of the institution.

    Anyway, badly written, poorly motivated policy.

  264. Abdul,
    Walgreen’s does get money from DHHS. As RC Dean pointed out, pretty much every hospital and pharmacy get Medicare money. Medicare is administered by CMS, which is under DHHS.

  265. I have a certain amount of sympathy for Jennifer’s argument.

    This came up when we were talking about marginal regulation in an already statist system, and whether sometimes if you’re already dealing with statism additional regulation can enhance liberty instead of reduce it.

    At that time, I used the example of state-granted monopoly: if the state granted ONLY ONE GUY the right to be a pharmacist everywhere in the US, it should be obvious to everyone that having accepted that monopoly it would be unjust for that person to declare that he wouldn’t provide pharmacy services to blacks or hispanics. In effect, he would be using his state-granted monopoly position to abuse blacks and hispanics.

    So the question becomes: Has the state closed the market for pharmaceuticals to a sufficient degree that pharmacists are in the position of the pharmacist in our thought experiment? If there is only one pharmacist in my town, and the state bans the sale of birth control pills by mail order, by enacting that ban have they created a situational state monopoly for my town’s pharmacist? Maybe.

    So I certainly see how Jennifer’s point can be argued. I just don’t go all the way to accepting her point, because basically if I accept it, I have to accept that by passing statist regulations the state can make private citizens who are just trying to make a living complicit in its acts. I also don’t think as a practical matter that these professions are quite so closed off as in our thought experiment – yet. [If single-payer ever gets passed, I might change my mind.]

  266. Abdul: Thank you very much. And I agree with Neu’s 4:26 pm post.

  267. Fluffy, the appropriate libertarian response to calls regulating a monopoly is to call for the elimination of the monopoly.

  268. Brandybuck | November 18, 2008, 4:44pm | #
    Fluffy, the appropriate libertarian response

    Drink.

  269. For example, an operating room nurse would assist in the performance of surgical procedures; an employee whose task it is to clean the instruments used in a particular procedure would be considered to assist in the performance of the particular procedure. [italics added]

    Why not the janitor that mops the floor. Housecleaning changing the sheets. The electrician who changes the light bulb in the “abortion room”. This is GWB fundie B/S that rides roughshod over people trying to perform a service that the fundies (and me in some cases) don’t like but are unable to outlaw.

    Bullshit, bovine excrement, and heifer stools.

  270. Mo,

    I am not sure Walgreens is covered by the law…partly because the section on what constitutes a “health care provider” is soooooo vague and ambiguous.

    If Medicare doesn’t directly employ Walgreens employees, but Walgreens is considered a Medicare provider, it would be subject to the rules.

    If, instead, Medicare is simply a customer of Walgreens, I don’t think that Walgreens would be subject to the policy.

  271. A business should be able to sell whatever they sell to whomever they want for whatever reason they want.

    If some pharmacist doesn’t want to prescribe certain medication then his employer should be able to fire him for it… at the same time though, if his business supports him then no one should force that business to seel to anyone they don’t want to.

    When did freedom suddenly stop applying to practices that we don’t like Mr. Bailey? Why should a business be obliged to their customers? They aren’t servants… they should be able to sell or not sell their product to whomever they want for whatever bloody reason they want.

  272. A customer has a reasonable expectation that his or her request to purchase or consume a legal product or service will be honored, if that product or service is available.

    If you went to a seafood restaurant, you would expect that your shrimp alfredo entree would be delivered to you to eat; even if, by some highly unlikely coincidence, the only available server were an observant Jew who keeps Kosher. If you went to a grocery store, you would expect that the cashier would allow you to purchase your coffee and wine, even if the cashier was a Mormon.

    How is this different? Oh, yeah, it’s about women pursuing happiness by having sexual relations with other people without the fear of the life- and liberty-changing effects of pregnancy. (BTW, even tubal ligation is only 99.9% effective! http://www.ccli.org/nfp/contraception/tubal.php)

    In some places, the physical effect of denying a woman birth control is small, although the mental effect may be greater. OTOH, in rural areas, where you have to drive 40 minutes to get anywhere and the nearest town is a gas station, firehouse, five-and-dime and two churches, this is likely to be a substantial hardship.

    a girl pointed out upthread that birth control is not only about contraception – my Catholic best friend took the pill for years to mitigate the symptoms (including severe pain) of her endometriosis.

    An aside: do these (unfortunately NOT hypothetical) pharmacists dispense Viagra or Cialis? Wouldn’t that be just as immoral? Or would they follow the lead of many insurance companies, who cover Viagra but not BC?
    http://writ.news.findlaw.com/colb/20010103.html

    My first insurance plan (before there was Viagra) covered the cost of childbirth or abortion, but not birth control.

  273. If you went to a seafood restaurant, you would expect that your shrimp alfredo entree would be delivered to you to eat

    Not if the restaurant doesn’t have shrimp alfredo on the menu.

    Pharmacies are entitled to not serve certain pills.

    OTOH, in rural areas, where you have to drive 40 minutes to get anywhere and the nearest town is a gas station, firehouse, five-and-dime and two churches, this is likely to be a substantial hardship.

    Are we instituting the “substantial hardship” test as to whether businesspersons have to dispense certain services and goods?

  274. Nobody answered the implied question in my 1:02pm comment so I’ll be specific.

    Should Detroit pharmacies be required by law to carry opioid pain medication? I suspect this (oxycontin armed robbery) is a nationwide inner city problem. Many here are certain they should be required to carry Plan B and birth control pills, why not pain medication too?

  275. If Medicare doesn’t directly employ Walgreens employees, but Walgreens is considered a Medicare provider, it would be subject to the rules.

    Pharmacies that want to bill Medicare, and there may be a half a dozen in the country that don’t, are Medicare providers.

  276. J sub – I was looking at a map of Kroger 24-hour pharmacies the other day (it was in the store), I realized that they are all outside the outerbelt (y’know, in the ‘burbs)…

    So, I assume that pharma-robberies are a problem for most cities, given that (at least this one) chain(s) has seen fit to not have 24-hour pharmacies in the city.

    An aside: do these (unfortunately NOT hypothetical) pharmacists dispense Viagra or Cialis? Wouldn’t that be just as immoral?

    Why? The reason I’ve seen for not dispensing the Pill is because it does, in fact, sometimes act as an abortifacient. Is that true of Cialis?

    As a matter fact, let me blunt, but WTF do ED drugs have to do with any of this?

  277. Mike,

    I missed this previously.

    The premise of “reasonable accommodation” always amused me. If an accommodation is reasonable, wouldn’t an employer do it anyway? Why is state force necessary? Legislation like this necessarily mandates unreasonable accommodation.

    No. It mandates reasonable behavior by the employer. If you are discriminating against someone who could do the job with a reasonable accommodation, you are acting unreasonably to deny them that accommodation in favor of firing them.

    Anti-discrimination laws are about discrimination based on unreasonable criteria…if you are excluding/including based on reasonable criteria we don’t call that “discrimination.” The laws say “you can’t use this unreasonable excuse to deny someone employment.”

  278. TAO,

    As a matter fact, let me blunt, but WTF do ED drugs have to do with any of this?

    Did you see the phrase “as an aside” that prefaced the comment?

  279. TAO,
    Considering that I ended my first paragraph with the words “If that product or service is available”, it was implied that “you” had ordered shrimp alfredo off the menu. In that case, and under my hypothetical condition, would you not expect the food to be served?

    This is the point of the pharmacist argument, not whether the meds are carried, but if they are, does an individual pharmacist have the right to say “I will not sell you the medication for which you have a presription, because I think it’s immoral”.

    JsubD,
    I don’t know. i do know that it’s not just an inner city problem – my neighbor is a pharmacist in the Seattle suburbs and she has been personally robbed at gunpoint of OxyContin.

  280. NM – yes, but there was some kind of bizarre “immoral” analogy drawn there…which frankly had nothing to do with anything.

    Anyway, the point stands: if shrimp alfredo ain’t on the menu, go to another restaurant.

  281. Anyway, the point stands: if shrimp alfredo ain’t on the menu, go to another restaurant.

    But it is on the menu.

    The establishment provides shrimp, but this single employee, the waiter, is denying it to them.

    The pharmacist has the pills, but is denying the customer access to them.

  282. Then let the restaurant fire that employee.

    does an individual pharmacist have the right to say “I will not sell you the medication for which you have a presription, because I think it’s immoral”.

    He does, if the pharmacy says he does.

  283. TAO,

    Now we are all on the same page.
    I agree, btw.

    As I said above.
    Poorly written, poorly motivated policy proposal.

  284. TAO, we don’t have a Kroger’s in the Detroit city limits. We don’t have any major chain grocer in the city limits. Too many reasons for that sad fact to go into here.

    Meu, feel free to bet your lifes savings, the family farm and your left nut that opioid robberies of pharmacies are more common in areas densely poulated by poor people.

    Still nobopdy’s jumped up to demand pain killers be available to inner city residents with anything like the fervor displayed for contraception availability in the sticks.

  285. JsubD,

    Meu, feel free to bet your lifes savings, the family farm and your left nut that opioid robberies of pharmacies are more common in areas densely poulated by poor people.

    Is this directed at me?
    I am not sure that high crime area always equals poor & high population density. In Albuquerque, the correlation is pretty weak, actually. Robberies are more common in richer areas that border poorer areas than they are in the poor areas themselves…at least for home robberies. Businesses in a poorer neighborhood may count as a “rich areas” bordering poorer areas. I am not sure the stats are broken down well enough to tell.

    Still nobopdy’s jumped up to demand pain killers be available to inner city residents with anything like the fervor displayed for contraception availability in the sticks.

    Probably because it is so tangential to the discussion (even if it is in the cartoon). It is a bigger problem, imho, but I don’t see how it relates to the current policy proposal.

  286. Ron & Neu,

    I see why protection of conscience clauses aren’t “libertarian” but aren’t they a libertarianish?

    In our society, Catholic hospitals are one of the largest, if not the the largest, non-profit health care provider. If you don’t have a conscience clause in the laws providing funding, you risk taking all that health care for the poor out of the game. Let’s face it, we’re not going to roll back the clock on government spending. Without altruistic health care provided by Catholic hospitals and others, the percieved need for socialized medicine becomes far more acute.

    Finally, it’s a bit unfair to say that a doc who performed abortions wouldn’t be protected by this clause, when the letter of the law says he would, just because you don’t think so. You need to back up such a claim with evidence, and as the rule hasn’t been enacted yet, there’s no evidence.

  287. JsubD,

    Of course, the poverty in NM is of a much different character than Detroit, I am sure.

    In NM poverty is more pervasive and not, per se, associated with neighborhoods that lack social structure/ community cohesion/ etc…

    As a result, the concept of stealing from people in your own barrio is much more confrontational than stealing from a different barrio.

  288. Abdul,

    Finally, it’s a bit unfair to say that a doc who performed abortions wouldn’t be protected by this clause, when the letter of the law says he would, just because you don’t think so.

    I didn’t claim he wouldn’t be.
    I claimed that providing that protection created a whole new set of problems in addition to the problems created by protecting those refusing to perform abortions. Problems that seem best described by this…

    In our society, Catholic hospitals are one of the largest, if not the the largest, non-profit health care provider. If you don’t have a conscience clause in the laws providing funding, you risk taking all that health care for the poor out of the game. Let’s face it, we’re not going to roll back the clock on government spending. Without altruistic health care provided by Catholic hospitals and others, the percieved need for socialized medicine becomes far more acute.

    How does this relate to the proposed policy?

    If anything, it seems the policy would make it MORE likely that the Catholic Hospitals would provide less services, because they would be forced to hire doctors who support abortion. If they don’t want to risk that, they may close down.

    Or am I missing something?

  289. If anything, it seems the policy would make it MORE likely that the Catholic Hospitals would provide less services, because they would be forced to hire doctors who support abortion. If they don’t want to risk that, they may close down.

    Read the whole regulation. A catholic hospital recieving funds couldn’t discriminate against an abortion supporter, but wouldn’t have to provide facilities for abortion or sterilization.

    I guess that means making sure there are no wire hangers in the closets at the St. Joan Crawford Memorial Hospital.

  290. Abdul,

    Look back at my comments.
    If this law were an honest attempt to address discrimination, it would be structured more like ADA. The way it is written is very different because it has a different purpose. It is aimed not at reducing discrimination by businesses, but at redefining what activities are part of the scope of practice of doctors and what skills/duties hospitals and health-care facilities are free to require of their employees. It is not libertarianish AT ALL.

  291. Read the whole regulation. A catholic hospital recieving funds couldn’t discriminate against an abortion supporter, but wouldn’t have to provide facilities for abortion or sterilization.

    So could that doctor bring his own equipment in and provide the service in their hospital without fear of getting fired?

    That would be the flip-side of being allowed to NOT perform the service that the employer otherwise provides without fear of being fired.

  292. Probably because it is so tangential to the discussion (even if it is in the cartoon). It is a bigger problem, imho, but I don’t see how it relates to the current policy proposal.

    Neu,
    Much of the discussion is about mandating health care workers and pharmacies to do things, carry products. I see no reason that contraception is more important than pain relievers.

    My point is fairly obvious. It is the owners business what products to stock and what services to provide. Not the customer or the employee. Both are free to go elsewhere for their wants and paychecks respectively.

    And if you would like to wager against me that pharmaceutical armed robbery is more commom in rural than urban areas, I’ll give you two the one odds.

  293. Probably because it is so tangential to the discussion (even if it is in the cartoon).

    Well, it is not tangential to the point that was made by others earlier (“Pharmacists are government-appointed gatekeepers and should be forced to stock RU-486 and The Pill”).

    Granted that failure to stock opiods in Jsub’s hypo has a different motivation than failure to stock (possible) abortifacients, but the result is the same: absence of needed drugs.

  294. Jeebus Neu,

    It’s my hospital and you are a doctor associated with it. You are using my facilities and I can determine what you may use the facilities for. You can’t spay cats in my hospital and you can’t perform abortions. I’m so radical you can’t do plastic surgery in my hospital.

    What is so friggin’ hard about the morality of people deciding what their friggin’ property is used for? What is so hard to figure out that if you won’t do your job (hand the doctor medical instuments while he’s terminating a fetus) the employer gets to can your conscientious objecting, non-performing ass?

  295. “Religious freedom is an important part of the history of this country,” Richard S. Myers, a professor at Ave Maria School of Law, told The Washington Post. “People who have a religious or moral belief should not be forced to participate in an act they find abhorrent.”

  296. “Religious freedom is an important part of the history of this country,” Richard S. Myers, a professor at Ave Maria School of Law, told The Washington Post. “People who have a religious or moral belief should not be forced to participate in an act they find abhorrent.”

    I meant to actually comment on this quote: The first part is true. The second part is a specious argument. People should be free to seek employment that adheres to their religious convictions. When their employer asks them to perform duties that violate their beliefs, they should be free to find another job, not dictate to the employer how the business will be run.

  297. I don’t remember anyone except J sub D saying anything about forcing pharmacies
    to stock medicines they currently don’t, or hospitals to perform procedures they
    have made known in advance that they don’t do.

    My problem is with someone claiming a moral objection to handing a customer
    something that is on the shelf behind them.

    J sub D, I completely agree with your 9:07 post. The owner should be able to
    decide what products to carry and what services to perform. The employee should
    follow those guidelines or be subject to termination. The article you linked
    above seemed to say that a major part of the insufficient pain relief for
    minorities is the refusal of doctors to prescribe the medication in the first
    place, citing a belief that minorities are more likely than whites to be
    abusers. This is directly relevant to the original post. The failure of local
    pharmacies to stock the drugs to begin with, and whether they should be forced
    to by law is, IMO, not. (Although it IS interesting :))

    TAO, I don’t think that anyone said that pharmacies must carry BC; some of us are saying that IF the pharmacy DOES carry BC, an employee should NOT have the right to refuse to dispense them on some vaguely worded “moral grounds”.
    I brought up ED drugs to point out the sexual double standard. These drugs allow a man to enjoy sex with another person. BC make it easier for a woman to enjoy sex with another person. (Believe me, the fear of pregnancy tends to sour the mood.) Is it more immoral for a woman to enjoy sex than it is for a man? If so, why?

    Apparently substantial hardships are just fine if they only apply to women. Would you be saying the same thing about the overnight cashier who refuses to sell you condoms, because your lack of a wedding means that you are intending to have extramarital sex, which is “immoral”?
    Honestly, I think that denying women access to birth control materially violates their constitutional guarantees of liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  298. wedding ring, sorry

  299. Former Jennifer – I think that you are 90% right, however, you have some confusions in your thinking:

    Would you be saying the same thing about the overnight cashier who refuses to sell you condoms

    I would not be fine. I would say that business has the right to permit its clerks not to ring me up.

    Apparently substantial hardships are just fine if they only apply to women.

    Again, no. Victim-Identity politics do not play well.

    an employee should NOT have the right to refuse to dispense them on some vaguely worded “moral grounds”.

    What if the employer of that employee states that it is business practice that they will not force employees to do things that violate their conscience? Then employees have every “right” to do just that. You’re not entitled to a certain clerk ringing up your purchase, and if the whole store won’t sell what you want to you…then they wouldn’t have it on the shelves and you wouldn’t go there.

    Honestly, I think that denying women access to birth control materially violates their constitutional guarantees of liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Are you saying that women are entitled to The Pill? Because failing to stock The Pill within a 50-mile radius would de facto deny her the “right” to happiness.

    I brought up ED drugs to point out the sexual double standard. These drugs allow a man to enjoy sex with another person. BC make it easier for a woman to enjoy sex with another person.

    These are usually NOT the reasons people want to not dispense The Pill. Besides, Cialis and Viagara can be used in marriages to facilitate children and Catholics are against The Pill because it obstructs the making of children.

    The real reason people want to not dispense The Pill is because it does cause abortions from time to time.

  300. I agree wholeheartedly with Brandybuck’s first post.

    Also, again, the Pill is not just a contraceptive/occasional abortifacient. I also wonder why it’s not covered the way Viagra and Cialis are covered for “disorders” the way the Pill is a cure or amelioration of some disorders. Oh well, I shrug at that.

    Of course, I don’t think birth control is some kind of constitutionally guaranteed right. Is any medicine?

  301. zoltan…frankly, The Pill is 30 dollars a month…is that what insurance is for? A dollar-a-day expense?

    Point me to a charity (like Planned Parenthood) that gives out The Pill for cheap or free, and I’ll be glad to donate (and I do). Charging insurance companies with “discrimination!” for something that, on a daily-usage basis, is barely more expensive than condoms, is silliness.

  302. you know what? I’ll do even better than that: show me a truly deserving, hard-working but destitute woman who really wants The Pill, and I’ll give her one-year’s worth ($360) And I am talking about someone who honest-to-God cannot afford it NOR get it somewhere where it is offered cheap or free.

  303. zoltan, I should have noted that my little offer was not directed in anger at you.

  304. JsubD,

    Jeebus Neu,

    It’s my hospital and you are a doctor associated with it. You are using my facilities and I can determine what you may use the facilities for…. What is so friggin’ hard about the morality of people deciding what their friggin’ property is used for?

    WTF? You seem to be challenging me while reiterating my point for me. I agree with you…do you have a reading disability?

    I am arguing that this is a bad policy FOR THE EXACT REASONS YOU CITE.

    And what’s with the asking me to make bets on topics where I haven’t made any assertions?

    Neu: This is bad policy because the employer should be able to define the job duties.

    JsubD: Jesus, Neu, why can’t you understand that employers should be able to define the job duties. And I’ll bet you more junkies steal things in high crime areas than they do in low crime areas.

    Put down the vaporizer and walk away from the keyboard dude.

  305. Of course, I don’t think birth control is some kind of constitutionally guaranteed right. Is any medicine?

    Oddly enough, supreme court precedent (Griswold, Roe, PP v. Casey) says that birth control is a constitutionally guranteed right. All other medicines? Not so much.

  306. Well, it is not tangential to the point that was made by others earlier (“Pharmacists are government-appointed gatekeepers and should be forced to stock RU-486 and The Pill”).

    Its interesting how we need to swing from the pill to RU-486 in order to make a point. Why don’t we tone it down and ask, should a hospital be FORCED to carry gauze and antibiotics? Should they be required to carry disinffectants to clean the premises? Should they be required to carry one-use syringes, or is it ok for them, to go back to boiling the glass ones because they have an objection to drug use? Painkillers? Amphetamines?

    The professional medical organizations and government already put a lot of various restrictions on the way the medical field is run, specifically because the expectation is that patient rights trump those of the care providers. To consider any medical organization the same as any other private place of business and not a heavily-regulated, largly government-funded semi-private organization with quasi-government-agent gatekeepers is just plain naive.

  307. Yet if someone claims they are using sacrificial plant material as part of their religous belief they are still sent to jail. AMAZING.

  308. Say what you will about the president-elect, but four, or even eight, years of Obama has got to be better than letting shit like this continue to fester for that time.

    At least when Obama’s excesses lead to another Republican administration, they’ll have to start this from zero if they’re still interested in it.

  309. “…They can choose to work elsewhere.” Or how about a crazy idea – if your doctor refuses to give you what you want on moral grounds, exercise your OWN freedom of choice and FIND A DIFFERENT DOCTOR or pharmacist. Trust me, you won’t have that much trouble finding a doctor who has no moral issues with performing an abortion, or a pharmacist who will provide your birth control.

    Talk about blowing an issue WAY out of proportion. If you go to a church (or mosque, or temple) and don’t like the leader, what do you do? Require the leader to quit his job because you don’t agree with him? NO. You find another church/mosque/temple. That’s the way it works. This is no different.

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