The Complicity Objection and the Return of Prescriptions

Southwest Philosophy Review 31 (1):207-216 (2015)

Walter Riker
University of West Georgia
On the moderate view, an objecting pharmacist may refuse to fill a prescription, provided that the pharmacist then refers the client to a non-objecting pharmacist who will fill the prescription in a timely manner (see, e.g., Cantor and Baum, 2004, or Brock, 2008). This view seeks to balance the interests of the pharmacist and the interests of the client. The complicity objection holds that the moderate view fails to balance these interests, because the referral itself makes the objecting pharmacist complicit in the act she sought to stop or at least avoid (see, e.g., Brock, 2008, Card, 2007, Charo, 2005, Nelson 2005, Snyder, 2010, Wicclair, 2006). Some claim that this objection shows that an objecting pharmacist should not be required to refer the client to another pharmacist. But what are the limits of the complicity objection? For example, does the complicity objection imply that an objecting pharmacist should also refuse to return the prescription to the client? I argue that the complicity objection has this implication. This does not mean that pharmacists should confiscate prescriptions. My goal is just to examine the moral reach of the complicity objection to the moderate position. What we should do, once we recognize the reach of this objection, is a separate question that I do not take up here.
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 0897-2346
DOI 10.5840/swphilreview201531121
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