Thursday, August 07, 2008

Slippery Slope

Fantastic read.

"Thank you for your steadfast pro-life efforts and for expanding the definition of abortion to include any activity that results in the termination of human life prior to implantation. This expanded definition will save the lives of more and more unborn human beings as we advance from conscience protections to legal restrictions on abortion. As research uncovers additional causes of miscarriage or preimplantation embryo loss, I look forward to further legislation against caffeine consumption, exercise, and other abortifacient activities among premenopausal women."



patsbrother said...

In my view, you support the most truely asinine causes.

Now, let me point out that Liberals are all about empowerment: you can conscienciously object to the draft, you can refuse rescusitation, you can refuse to dissect a dead frog.

But liberals think it is preposterous for the federal government to take steps to ensure that those who believe that administering certain drugs will kill another human being (and that this killing would be wrong - go figure), that those people have the right to refuse to take part - this is the government acting crazy.

This is the cause that is finally just too namby-pamby for you and the good folks at Slate: the right to refuse to take part in killing an innocent.


liberalandproud said...

A pharmacist's refusal to fill certain prescriptions can prevent a patient from filling the prescription at all. Let's say I live in a small town with only one pharmacy that I can get to by walking. I have no car. The pharmacist at that location refuses to fill my prescription. This effectively stops me from filling the prescription. If we were talking about ED treatment and not EC, I have a feeling there would be a very different reaction to the refusal to do one's job.

patsbrother said...

On almost any other subject, a liberal would keep the individual's personal convictions at heart. But on this one Third Rail, no dice. Amazing.

As between someone wanting to take an abortofacient and someone who doesn't want to help kill another human being, I beleive the equities weigh in favor of the latter. That person's interest in not being a murderer outweighs the woman's interest in seeking an abortofacient.

Take this from both individuals' perspectives and listen to what you're saying: the potential inconvenience to one justifies mandating the assistance of another in killing a human being.

You may be very secure in your own blitheness, saying this is merely a perfunctory part of "one's job" (good one, by the way), but I am supremely confident that assisting abortions does not follow naturally from joining the medical profession.

I know that it is a violation of prosecutorial ethics for someone else to force me to prosecute a case I find unethical. Why is it so hard for you (political self-interest, perhaps?) to see that is just as much a violation to force a pharmacist to distribute drugs in a way the pharmacist herself would find unethical?

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Well, then: what about dispensing coffee, providing a place for women to excercise and promoting breast feeding? How are those morally different if the same amount of medical proof exists when defining those effects?

But that is why the article is written, to challenge these beliefs.

What goes unsaid is that the anti-choice crowd made an extremely prudent decision years ago to beign promoting those of anti-choice beliefs to join the medical field so that this could become an issue.

Government can regulate this because government regulates business licenses and medical licenses. But government, like the population, is split on this moral question as well. One would think that people who have a moral problem dispensing medicine would choose to do something other than work in medicine, but looking at our current national medical climate, I'm not ready to begrudge anyone that profession.

What I will say is that it is high time (no pun intended) for a lot of liberals to put down the more glamourous medical marijuana issues and get themselves into medical, nursing and pharmacy schools.

I mean, if your main gripe is access, and the only gatekeepers are people who don't want you to have access, the logical conclusion is to get some gatekeepers who do want you to have access.

liberalandproud said...

I support an individual's right to get medical care. That's what prescriptions are. Pharmacists dispense prescriptions. That is what they do. We aren't talking about locking them up for refusing to do that job. If I work at Parker's, but I refuse to sell alcohol to those legally eligible to buy it because of my religious convictions, don't you think the folks at Parker's should have the right to discipline/fire me for refusing to do my job? The dispensation of Viagra could lead to extramarital sex, which many folks find morally repugnant. There are many prescriptions which could be considered unethical by pharmacists. A pharmacist may take a stand, but there are consequences. There is also a core disagreement between these two camps, which is why this is such a "slippery slope" issue. I happen to think life begins at birth. I don't get presents or cards or have a party on the day of my "implantation." I do all those things on my birthday. We disagree about when life begins, and I doubt we are going to change each others' minds.

patsbrother said...

Ah, yes: people disagree. The difference is your solution to the problem is that those who disagree with you should simply act as though your position is the correct one.

liberalandproud said...

Or what Pat said.

liberalandproud said...

The difference is your solution to the problem is that those who disagree with you should simply act as though your position is the correct one.
And your solution is that women should be denied medical care because of your position?

patsbrother said...

I think the two of you think this propsal goes farther than it does.

As I understand the link, the only entities affected are those that receive federal grant money. This is how the government will be reaching private employers. Does your local pharmacy receive federal grant money? I may be wrong, but my hunch says no.

Also, I saw nothing in the article to suggest that the federal government can do this because it regulates medical licenses. As I understand it, the States license their own professionals.

This is categorically a different situation than distributing alcohol or viagra, which is why this is the situation addressed in the proposal and not those two situations. As for the Parker's analogy: if you want a pharamcist whose job is every bit as unthinking and ministerial as a convenience store attendant's job is, you and I have vastly different ideas of what a pharamcist should be.

What I adore is that the big complaint in the Slate article appears to be lack of information regarding the efficacy of pre-implantation abortofacients. Is it really a sound argument to say that the government shouldn't restrict a medication because the medication isn't proven to work? Really? That's the fascinating read? If such pre-implantation medications do work, then the government's position is solid; if such medications don't work, you've lost nothing. It's an argument that gains nothing for those against the proposal. The writers at Slate must be top-notch thinkers.

As for breast-feeding: are you really concerned that a woman will block herself from feeding her own baby?

Taking a more basic look at the Slate article and at Cousin Pat's comment, the argument against the proposal appears to focus on the proposal's lack of specificity. Apparently, you're really worried that you will find someone conscientiously opposed to dispensing a Coke. (That at least is a stated concern, but I have my doubts regarding the earnestness of such.)

Tellingly, it seems, you don't advocate for a more specific statement; you want to firebomb the whole thing. Which indicates to be that it's your opposition to a person's individual choice (regarding whether to assist committing an abortion) than it is to how it is worded and to its scope.

patsbrother said...

And to answer liberalandproud: if that is how you want to phrase not forcing a pharmacist to assist in what the pharmacist sees as the unethical termination of human life: yes.

liberalandproud said...

f that is how you want to phrase not forcing a pharmacist to assist in what the pharmacist sees as the unethical termination of human life: yes.

One would think that people who have a moral problem dispensing medicine would choose to do something other than work in medicine

I don't want to force anyone to do anything. But I think a person should have to do their job to keep it. These pharmacists face a difficult decision, just like the patients whose medical care they wish to obstruct.

patsbrother said...

Another disagreement!

People become medical professionals not simply to dispense medicine, but to care and help people. One fundamental difference between pharmacists is whether aiding an abortion is caring or helpful.

A pesky snag in your argument is that some of these pharmacists see a duty to the unborn as well as to the person standing before them. Then, by your standards, their "job" would be to refuse to hand over the medication.

You can sue a bar for negligently allowing a patron to get too soused up, because it is forseeable that that patron will go out and kill someone. I think the line of foreseebility is more direct when (a) you see the embryo as a human being and (b) realize that Plan B's only plan is to prevent that embryo from surviving.

If a pharmacist holds beliefs (a) and (b), she'd have to be pretty bankrupt emotionally to just hand over the murder weapon.