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Friday, 26 March 2010

The country’s going to the gods

Religion moves ever closer to dictating the lives of the nonreligious. There’s new code that will allow pharmacists to continue to refuse to serve people with stuff they don’t believe in.

So, if you had a bit of rumpy-pumpy last night and want the morning-after pill, and the pharmacist is a Catholic fruitcake or born-again nutcase, tough shit!

“A revised code of conduct from the new industry regulator will allow staff to opt out of providing items such as the morning-after pill and contraception,” says the BBC. “But they may in future have to give customers details of alternative shops.”

Great, if theirs is the only shop for miles around in a country area and you either have no car or are not minded to spend several pounds travelling even a few miles in these times of daylight robbery at the petrol pumps.

The BBC story continues:

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is to take over the regulation of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and the registration of pharmacy premises from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society later this year.

Under its new code, pharmacists with strong religious principles will still be able to continue to refuse to sell or prescribe products if they feel that doing so would contradict their beliefs.

But the GPhC says pharmacists who refuse services could be obliged to tell patients where they can access them and it plans to consult more widely on the issue.

I don’t like thin-end-of-the-wedge arguments, because they’re not always valid, but let’s say this could escalate. What will the Deluded Herd be able to claim is against their “faith” in other areas, too? We’ve already seen people who refuse to do their jobs because of some idea that fairy stories come above the job an employer is paying them to do and the public is expecting them to do.

How long will it be before other members of the Deluded Herd latch onto this and start wanting special dispensations? I can’t sell you this sausage, because it has pork in it. I can’t handle this emergency because I have to go to the prayer room and stick my arse in the air for ten minutes.

The country’s going to the gods (anagram intended).

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