Dispensing with liberty: Conscientious refusal and the "morning-after pill"

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (6):579 – 592 (2005)
Abstract
Citing grounds of conscience, pharmacists are increasingly refusing to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception, or the "morning-after pill." Whether correctly or not, these pharmacists believe that emergency contraception either constitutes the destruction of post-conception human life, or poses a significant risk of such destruction. We argue that the liberty of conscientious refusal grounds a strong moral claim, one that cannot be defeated solely by consideration of the interests of those seeking medication. We examine, and find lacking, five arguments for requiring pharmacists to fill prescriptions. However, we argue that in their professional context, pharmacists benefit from liberty restrictions on those seeking medication. What would otherwise amount to very strong claims can be defeated if they rest on some prior restriction of the liberty of others. We conclude that the issue of what policy should require pharmacists to do must be settled by way of a theory of second best. Asking "What is second best?" rather than "What is best?" offers a way to navigate the liberty restrictions that may be fixed obstacles to optimality.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,007
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
J. K. Davis (2008). Futility, Conscientious Refusal, and Who Gets to Decide. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 33 (4):356-373.
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

47 ( #34,891 of 1,101,159 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #59,018 of 1,101,159 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.