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My God says you can't die like that.

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 08:52 am
boomerang wrote:
Okay, joe.

Yes, I do think there are moral consequences. I do think in certain situations your actions might be morally just. In others, not so much.

I agree.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 10:13 am
Re: My God says you can't die like that.
boomerang wrote:
Can you imagine a health care worker saying that their religion trumps your wishes?

Of course. It's the same as my government forbidding me to auction off a right kidney on eBay. Well, maybe not the same but only different in degree.

boomerang wrote:
What consequences do you think should come of an employees refusal to "participate" in end of life wishes?

As a matter hospital policy, it's a hard question, and I have no answer to it. As a matter of employer-employee relation, the employer could, and maybe should, fire employees who break their work contract for religious reasons (just as they can fire them when they breach it for another reason.)
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 10:32 am
FreeDuck wrote:
In the case of pharmacists, I definitely agree. Their job is to fill prescriptions and not to decide whether a person should or should not be prescribed it. If they can't just fill the bottle, they should find another job, personal reasons or not.

As a believer in freedom of contract, I disagree. If I own a liquor shop selling Bordeaux and Montepulciano, and you want Pinot Noir, I can choose not to sell it to you, and you can choose to buy at another liquor shop. You have a right to buy Pinot Noir from whoever wants to sell it to you, but you have no right to me wanting to sell it, nor to sell it against my will.

When you order a morning-after pill in a pharmacy, the case is similar. If I own a pharmacy that has condoms and contraception pills, but no morning-after pills, you have a right to buy morning after pills from whoever wants to sell them to you. But as in the case of the Pinot Noir, you have no right to me wanting to sell it, and you cannot forcibly make me sell it against my will.

The case is different if I am not the owner, but an employee of the business you're dealing with. If my duties involve selling morning-after pills or prescribing poison, my employer can fire me for failing to perform on my work contract. But he can do that whether I decline to perform for religious reasons, or because I'm just in a nasty mood today.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 10:37 am
There is a huge difference in the effect you have on another person's life between refusing to sell them pinot noir and refusing to sell them birth control pills.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 10:44 am
FreeDuck wrote:
There is a huge difference in the effect you have on another person's life between refusing to sell them pinot noir and refusing to sell them birth control pills.

It may well be a huge difference to the buyer, but this is tangential to my argument. My argument is that I'm a free man, so I don't have to sell you things I don't want to sell.
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FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 10:47 am
That's true, and if you own your own pharmacy, I can't argue with that. But you are also free to be something other than a pharmacist.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 10:54 am
Quote:
Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.
oath


I can see how any given physician would not be willing to write a lethal prescription, even if allowable by law.

I agree with Thomas in differentiating between an owner-pharmacist and a pharmacy employee. I don't see what grounds an employee would have for refusing to fill a prescription for a drug that is sold by the pharmacy but I can see an owner-pharmacist not stocking a particular drug. It would be his choice to gain or lose the business from the sale of the drug.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 10:55 am
FreeDuck wrote:
That's true, and if you own your own pharmacy, I can't argue with that. But you are also free to be something other than a pharmacist.

And I agree that Walgreens can fire me if they employ me as a pharmacist, my contract obliges me to fill prescriptions for your morning after pills, and I refuse to fill them for religious reasons. But it's Walgreens who has a claim against me in this matter. You don't have a claim against Walgreens as my employer, and you don't have a claim against me personally. The legal situation may be different, but that's how I see it ethically.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 10:59 am
I never said I did.

I understand your argument theoretically, and even somewhat agree with it. However, what if you're the only pharmacy in town and I don't have a car to take me to the next one? What if there is no competition? What if all of the pharmacies in the area belong to Walmart? The effect is denying access. Your swinging fist just met my face.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 11:16 am
FreeDuck wrote:
Your swinging fist just met my face.

I can think of two counterarguments:

(1) No. I'm not swinging. In fact, I'm doing nothing.

(2) [speaking as this hypothetical pro-life pharmacist] : That's how you see it, because you have no regard for the sanctity of life. I agree with Boomerang that people shouldn't impose their worldview upon each other. But you know what? The way I see it, you're the one imposing her inhumane worldview upon me. You're the one who wants me to kill an innocent live against my conscience. I want nothing to do with this. In my moral universe, a first-day embryo is a "someone". And if I can save someone's life by hitting someone else in the face; so be it. [speaking as myself again]
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 11:54 am
Ok, Thomas. You win. I can't counter that without acknowledging that I think health care is a right, and you know how slipper that can get.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 12:05 pm
Hmmmmm.

Hi, Thomas.

Are you saying that you think people have a right to deny a product that is available by law? That one person's moral belief outweigh what the rest of society deems morally okay?

It all sounds a little vigilante to me.

What if I were to become convinced that gin killed my Uncle J. Uncle J drank gin every day until his liver gave out. I now work in a liquor store where I will happily sell anybody anything... except for gin, because gin will kill you.

Or cigarettes?

Or soda pop?

Or fast food?

Or whatever?

I need to think on this a bit more...
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 12:35 pm
[Not Thomas, not speaking for Thomas]

I think there is a difference between an employee refusing to sell a generally stocked product for a personal/moral reason and an owner-employer refusing to stock and/or otherwise sell the same product. The consumer has no basis to 'force' an owner-employer into making a particular product available for sale. Should every pharmacy be required to stock and make available for sale all possible prescription drugs?

The moral decision of the employee is between him, his conscience, and his boss. Once the product is readily available for sale it should be sold to anyone who has the legal right to make the purchase. Refusal of an employee to make a sale would potentially jeopardize his job but the product would still be available to the consumer.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 01:33 pm
boomerang wrote:
What if I were to become convinced that gin killed my Uncle J. Uncle J drank gin every day until his liver gave out. I now work in a liquor store where I will happily sell anybody anything... except for gin, because gin will kill you.

If you were an employee who feels stronger about it than about keeping your job, or if you were a liquor store owner who feels stronger about it than about the gin revenue you're foregoing -- yes, I would consider that morally okay. It's called "freedom", and there's nothing vigilante about it. You're refusing to assist the gin drinker in his gin drinking. That's in no way comparable to hanging him on the next tree, which is what a vigilante would do.

If that sounds odd, translate it into your own profession: Suppose Lyndon LaRouche walks into your photo studio; he wants you to take his picture; you don't feel like taking his picture. Do you now have a moral obligation to take his picture for him anyway, or do you have a right to tell him "no thanks, and would you kindly leave my studio now, please?"
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 01:54 pm
Yeah, yeah, I get the point about the owner of a business making decisions to sell or not sell something - but I really think we should be talking about the staff.

I doubt that it is hospital owners that are refusing to comply with a patients wishes but someone on the medical staff. In a case like dlowan cited, it was a Catholic hospital so that complicates things a bit, too. Still, it is amazing to think that a medical directive would be ignored.

I tried to find out what drug Oregon doctors use for fatal prescriptions and all I could come up with is "barbituates". I would imagine that every pharmacy has these and that they don't necessarily have access to what the pills are being prescribed for.

What if the pills are for pain relief and the pharmacist won't fill it because they suspect suicide?
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 02:08 pm
J_B wrote:
[Not Thomas, not speaking for Thomas]

You're doing a very good job ad it though.

boomerang wrote:
I doubt that it is hospital owners that are refusing to comply with a patients wishes but someone on the medical staff. In a case like dlowan cited, it was a Catholic hospital so that complicates things a bit, too.

Indeed. Unless I grossly misunderstood dlowan, the decision to disobey the will came from the hospital, not some individual on the medical staff. A hospital owner, such as the Catholic church, can set policies about end-of-life decisions, and when they conflict with the patient's will, the patient ought to go to a different hospital. (If he is capable to, as dlowan's friend was at the beginning.)

As to focussing on the behavior of employees, I already said the employer has a right to enforce his policy, and fire the employees who disobey it. But if the employee feels more strongly about the case than about remaining employed, he can disobey -- and be fired.

boomerant wrote:
What if the pills are for pain relief and the pharmacist won't fill it because they suspect suicide?

If he is employed he may get fired, if it's his own shop he loses some business. I'm fine with either scenario.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 02:16 pm
From the Oregon statute

Quote:
127.885 s.4.01. Immunities; basis for prohibiting health care provider from participation; notification; permissible sanctions.

Except as provided in ORS 127.890:


(1) No person shall be subject to civil or criminal liability or professional disciplinary action for participating in good faith compliance with ORS 127.800 to 127.897. This includes being present when a qualified patient takes the prescribed medication to end his or her life in a humane and dignified manner.


(2) No professional organization or association, or health care provider, may subject a person to censure, discipline, suspension, loss of license, loss of privileges, loss of membership or other penalty for participating or refusing to participate in good faith compliance with ORS 127.800 to 127.897.


(3) No request by a patient for or provision by an attending physician of medication in good faith compliance with the provisions of ORS 127.800 to 127.897 shall constitute neglect for any purpose of law or provide the sole basis for the appointment of a guardian or conservator.


(4) No health care provider shall be under any duty, whether by contract, by statute or by any other legal requirement to participate in the provision to a qualified patient of medication to end his or her life in a humane and dignified manner. If a health care provider is unable or unwilling to carry out a patient's request under ORS 127.800 to 127.897, and the patient transfers his or her care to a new health care provider, the prior health care provider shall transfer, upon request, a copy of the patient's relevant medical records to the new health care provider.

Source


It seems the statute explicity includes the right to participate or not participate to any provider.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 04:58 pm
You are right, of course, J_B. That is why I was saying that my new first question to any doctor needs to be "how do you feel about PAS?" I don't know if I want to build a relationship with a doctor and later find out that they are unwilling to support my dying decisions.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 09:12 pm
Thomas wrote:
J_B wrote:
[Not Thomas, not speaking for Thomas]

You're doing a very good job ad it though.

boomerang wrote:
I doubt that it is hospital owners that are refusing to comply with a patients wishes but someone on the medical staff. In a case like dlowan cited, it was a Catholic hospital so that complicates things a bit, too.

Indeed. Unless I grossly misunderstood dlowan, the decision to disobey the will came from the hospital, not some individual on the medical staff. A hospital owner, such as the Catholic church, can set policies about end-of-life decisions, and when they conflict with the patient's will, the patient ought to go to a different hospital. (If he is capable to, as dlowan's friend was at the beginning.)

As to focussing on the behavior of employees, I already said the employer has a right to enforce his policy, and fire the employees who disobey it. But if the employee feels more strongly about the case than about remaining employed, he can disobey -- and be fired.

boomerant wrote:
What if the pills are for pain relief and the pharmacist won't fill it because they suspect suicide?

If he is employed he may get fired, if it's his own shop he loses some business. I'm fine with either scenario.



He believed he had done all that was necessary to stop his FAMILY from interfering with his wishes.

I imagine it never occurred to him that the hospital would side with the family against his legally ensured wishes.
0 Replies
 
 

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