Friday, March 12, 2010

Pharmacist refuses to issue contraceptives

Once again a patient goes to an English Chemist to get her prescription of contraceptives
(in Sheffield this time) but gets an explanation that pharmacist's religion does not allow her to dispense it.
Religious privileges in United Kingdom mean that medicine comes into second place if at all for some people in some instances.
It is not difficult for me to understand that there are people who see medicine or pharmacy as business and have no emotional connection to their profession in a way that could be described as compassionate.
When I started my work as a Consultant Psychiatrist I had many difficult cases. I shall never forget one man who was the product of rape and his mother could not get morning after pill. He was never loved, had poor self esteem suffered from depression and could not be cured by any pill a psychiatrist could prescribe. Psychotherapy was painful and I would say partially successful. At that time I managed to stop him from killing himself, but did he ever find true love is something I never learned and even today I wonder about it.
I also had to treat parents who had unwanted children and had to deal with their guilt and help them become better parents which was really hard for them. It did not escape my attention that
they punished themselves by not allowing themselves to be successful and happy in other areas of their lives.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has to review its code of ethics so that patients always come first and not religious beliefs. I think they could do well by showing the video or two to their students about psychological aspects of failed contraception of which there are several: poor self esteem, difficulties forming relationships, lack of committtment, depression, agression and hatred.
Lloyds Chemist is the largest community chemist in UK with about 1600 branches.

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