Tuesday, March 25, 2008

There are times when "No" is against the law.

You want to be a pharmacist? You do the job. You don't get to impose your religious beliefs on others. So says the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Wisconsin.
A state appeals court upheld sanctions Tuesday against a pharmacist who refused to dispense birth control pills to a woman and wouldn't transfer her prescription elsewhere.

The 3rd District Court of Appeals ruled that the punishment the state Pharmacy Examining Board handed down against pharmacist Neil Noesen did not violate his state constitutional rights, specifically his "right of conscience" to religiously oppose birth control.

"Noesen abandoned even the steps necessary to perform in a minimally competent manner under any standard of care," the three-judge panel said. The decision upheld a ruling by Barron County Circuit Judge James Babler.


Noesen, 34, of St. Paul, Minn., told regulators that he is a devout Roman Catholic and refused to refill the prescription or release it to another pharmacy because he didn't want to commit a sin by "impairing the fertility of a human being."

Oh... see how this bent little fuckwad translated his religious beliefs into a sin of faith? It goes to the old question: If I give somebody a knife have I committed murder? Clearly the woman had a prescription from a higher power. In the case of a pharmacist, that would be a medical doctor.

Make no mistake about it. Noesen was imposing his superstitious crap on another human being. And he was, with knowledge and intent, violating the regulations laid out by his state's Department of Regulation and Licensing. All he had to do was direct the woman to a pharmacy where some superstitious bible-thumper wasn't going to try to weave his religious beliefs into state governance.

The Pharmacy Examining Board ruled in 2005 that Noesen failed to carry out his professional responsibility to get the woman's prescription to someone else if he wouldn't fill it himself.

The board reprimanded Noesen and ordered him to attend ethics classes. He was allowed to keep his license as long as he informs all future employers in writing that he won't dispense birth control pills and outlines steps he will take to make sure a patient has access to medication.

The board also found Noesen liable for the cost of the proceedings against him — about $20,000 — but the appeals court ordered the board to reconsider that decision.

That was actually pretty generous. I would have stapled his license to a dartboard.

I can hardly wait for the comments.

Hat tip Cat.

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