Friday, April 01, 2005

Will You Make That First Step?

In Illinois, their Governor signed a law that makes it so pharmacists can't cause delays giving medications based on their personal views. This is a good sign. An excerpt from the article: "Steve Trombley, CEO for Planned Parenthood in Chicago, praised the state's efforts. "When medical professionals write prescriptions for their patients, they are acting in their patients' best interests," Trombley said. "A pharmacist's personal views cannot intrude on the relationship between a woman and her doctor." Hey, wait a minute, that was a quote by someone from Planned Parenthood. A question for pro-lifers, which just came to me... If they are so concerned about "getting their abortion money", shouldn't they be upset that people are going to have guaranteed full access to the most effective method of contraception that exists in the world? He didn't seem upset to me. I know there will be plenty of reasons that can be given, like "he was lying", or "he makes lots of money already". Assuming he believes what he says though, it would mean that their goal really is to help people have the family that they want, when they want. I believe most of what pro-life people say is said on principle, even though I believe they are wrong. Are you capable of taking anyone from Planned Parenthood at their word, or is the hatred for what they stand for too strong? That is not a rhetorical question actually, no offense intended. I am sure that some can, but I wonder if you, if you are a pro-life reader, can. I am genuinely curious. Note: I don't want to turn this into a debate on abortion itself. I just wonder about this one issue.

You know, scratch that. You can answer that question too of course, but let's make it even more personal now. Without the first baby steps taken toward humanizing each other, the country will fall deeper and deeper into partisan hatred. It is partly to that end that I blog here. I spend several times as much time on Republican-friendly sites than I do on Democrat-friendly sites simply because I want to understand the other side better. In the process, I can perhaps be an ambassador of goodwill, however insignificant, to let people know that their "enemies" are not the people they believe them to be. "We value our lives and yours as much as you do." I would like to hear more people on both sides say that. I just started it off by writing it, without qualification or caveat. Are you willing to write it, now that I have made that first step? I invite you all to comment, regardless of party or persuasion, and either take that step and write those sentence I put in quotes, or explain why you will not.


soundboyz said...

Eric, not to turn this into an argument, but during your travels on Republican sites, did you ever start to get a better understanding of what makes them think the way they do?Is it a feeling that they know whats best for everyone else or is it just blind allegiance to a set of ideals?

Anyway , I will be the first to say that I value my life and everyone elses as much as they do..There!!

Snuffy said...

...the country will fall deeper and deeper into partisan hatred.

You must be very young. The country is not even close to the partisan hatred that existed during the era of the Viet Nam war. We had anti-war demonstrations, rioting on campuses, Kent State, race-riots in most major cities, SDS, the Weathermen, SLA, Black Muslims and Black Panthers - all bent on violence and hating each other and the government.

The sentiments now are nothing compared to that time.

Now as to your question, how can it be right to force a pharmacist to do something against his own beliefs? Wouldn't it be simpler for the person to go to a drug store where they're willing to fill the prescription? Why is it important to impose your values (by force) on someone else? Do you find it satisfying? are you afraid that whatever you're trying to force on people is an idea that is so weak that you can't sell it with reason and logic?

Erik Grow said...

I'm 31, not old, but I've been through a few decades. Yes, I'm aware that Vietnam was a very divisive time, and I'm not saying that we're at that point yet.

As for the pharmacist issue, first there are probably tens of thousands of Catholic pharmacists that fill prescriptions for birth control pills. Should Catholic cashiers refuse to sell condoms too? You're perfectly fine with sending someone to another pharmacy, where they may encounter the same issue? The law doesn't even say that they have to dispense them. It just says that if that issue is present that another pharmacist must be there immediately to dispense them.

You have a situation where the fulfillment conduit between an unsuspecting patient and their doctor is disrupted by someone imposing *their* values on a patient's medical treatment, and you tell me I'm imposing *my* values?

soundboyz said...

This shit is ridiculous!!!!You're telling me that just because someone who works at a pharmacy and has personal beliefs that go against birth control cannot sell someone birth control ? Then that someone needs to get another JOB!!Birth Control is lawful, until they outlaw birth control, then someone's personal beliefs have NOTHING to do with the law!!! This shit is getting real fuckin old real fuckin fast!!!!Sorry Eric, please excuse the profanity!!!I don't see how you can control your temper dealing with these assholes!!!They should STOP TRYING TO TELL EVERYONE ELSE WHAT THEY THINK IS RIGHT AND WRONG!!!I'm not FUCKIN 13 and you are NOT MY PARENT!!!!!ASSHOLES!!!!

Two Dogs said...

I think that what Snuffy said holds true for me as well. When the government rolls up in my business and forces me to sell something that goes against my beliefs, that is government interjecting itself into the church debate. I think that really quick this State law will be deemed unconstitutional.

I believe that if I have a religious reason for NOT selling birth control in my PRIVATE business, the government has no power to overturn my decision. If I won't sell BC to you, you are very welcome to go buy it elsewhere.

In my mind, this is judicial fiat at writing legislation. Sorry, I would rather go to jail than have a judge tell me what I can and cannot stock at my pharmacy.

Erik Grow said...

You misunderstood what the law is Two Dogs. They are not telling them that they have to carry it. They don't have to as far as I know. The problem is that they DO carry it, and some pharmacists (well, basically a couple pharmacists), won't sell it. The law is NOT saying that the particular pharmacist must sell it, just that if the store sells it, they need to essentially have someone available at all times that will sell it (again, if the store carries it).

Think of it this way too. If your religion is against killing anyone, even in war, would you join the Army, knowing that your religion prevents you from killing someone? Would a PETA member work at a meat packing plant? Why would you become a pharmacist if you know that you will refuse to perform the job on one of the most common prescription medications? It's insane, but at least now nobody is going to have to wait because someone else is intent on imposing their values on them in a job that they are unfit for.

Erik Grow said...

Also, is anyone else going to admit that we all generally value each others lives just as much as everyone else?

Two Dogs said...

The way that you descibe the law just makes it even more stupid. So, if a pharmacy actually carries the drug, do you think that the OWNER of the store would hire someone that would not dispence the stock? Just makes no sense at all.

As far as value of human life is concerned, I think that we would all agree that there are some other cultures that do not value life as Americans do. I think that we could start with Cuba and finish with the vast majority of other despotic regimes.

I think that there are some folks around the world called Muslims, that base their entire world view on the overthrow and subsequent murder of all individuals that do not share their religious opinions. Just my two cents.

soundboyz said...

> Just my two cents.

Thats about all it's worth too!!!Islam forbids the killing of an ant. You are taking the views and motives of a few extremists and using it to lable a whole religion!!!I think more people are being killed in the name of Christianity!!But it is stupid to argue about who kills more than the other !!!

You just can't say it , can you?

Erik Grow said...

No, it wouldn't make sense to me either Two Dogs, but obviously some pharmacist did just that.

Two Dogs, do you know any Muslims? I have known some quite well. When I was a supervisor in customer service a few years back, my right hand man was Muslim. He was very smart, wouldn't hurt a fly, and saw no need to hate those of other religions, as is true with most Muslims. I have worked with a handful of other Muslims over the years as well. I must have not been paying attention when they were trying to kill me.

Two Dogs said...

I think that as stupid as it sounds, that is his RIGHT, to choose what part of his inventory is for sale.

I am sorry that some people think that a general statement must cover all of the classification. I shall amend my previous statement thusly: It seems that there is a subset of a group of people called Muslims that are Hell-bent on murdering all people that do not fit that particular subset of a group of people.

And yes, I know quite a few people that are members of the Nation of Islam. However, taking into account that this is itself a small subset of the group known as Muslims, I guess my experience with the entire group of Muslims is very small.

Snuffy said...

you tell me I'm imposing *my* values?

Well, yea. Its his business. Ever seen one of those signs in a place of business that says, "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone?"

Its his business, if he chooses not to sell to a customer, so be it. The customer can go somewhere else.

And you are being naive if you think a stupid law like that would have any effect. If I were a pharmacist and refused to sell a product based on my morals and values and the state wrote a law that said I had to sell it to anyone, I would stop carrying that product immediately. Everyone would then be hurt, the customer, other customers, and the pharmacist. How stupid is that?

When are you liberals going to learn that you can't legislate your way to your warped sense of "social justice?"

Thats one reason the liberals are out of power. There are plenty of other ones, just as illustrative of the stupidity of unthinking liberal meme. That is why not only are the liberals out of any real power, but their numbers in elected positions are decreasing. Keep it up. Each nut case like this will cost even more liberals their jobs.

Erik Grow said...

See my post about the liberal and conservative litmus test. What is liberal to you? I'm going to make another post on it too, similar, but a different angle. I highly doubt that only "liberals" are in favor of this law. You've got a situation where two people's morals are colliding. This law is a way for neither side to have to "lose" in this situation. The specific pharmacist doesn't have to sell it, and the customer doesn't have to be told to come back tomorrow when someone that is ready to do 100% of the job instead of 95% of the job, will be there.

As for your sweeping generalizations of what "liberals" (I assume you mean all Democrats), think and are, and so on, the pendulum always swings. Conservatives are already overstepping. 2006 could be interesting.

Snuffy said...

I highly doubt that only "liberals" are in favor of this law.

You'd be wrong, but that hasn't stopped you so far.

This law is a way for neither side to have to "lose" in this situation.

Baloney. Its a way to try to force a pharmacy to do something they do not want to do. If a pharmacy owner has no qualms about what he sells to whom, he will make it known to his employees and they'd better do what he wants or else. Same is true for the flip side. If an owner of a pharmacy says, "we are not going to sell X to Y because I am opposed to it and its my store," then he has that right too. Is that concept really all that hard for you to gronk?

As I said before, the law will do nothing. The pharmacy owner, if he is forced to sell something to people he thinks is immoral or wrong to do, he will just no longer carry the product. What do you do then? Pass another law demanding he carry the product? Go ahead. I'll bet the product will get contaminated and be unusable. Or it will be out of stock. You can't win this battle by force. And any attempt to try is another example of liberal thinking.

Two Dogs said...

Snuffy is on to something here. If you try to get me to do something at the point of your gun (which is exactly what laws are) you are looking for problems. Remember, liberals (not Democrats, Erik, they are for the most part, Socialists, and there is a difference) are the ones making it so hard for poor folks to get guns and trust me, if it comes completely to class warfare, it's gonna be a short fight.

Erik Grow said...

Socialists? Heh. I don't hear that word outside of Europe much. Well, it was an interesting debate, and surprised it got that many arguments. I still would imagine that the law is popular, but it isn't important enough to do polls on I'm sure. Two Dogs, the post I just made is very much with you in mind. Please read and comment!

nicnerd said...

How can you say "We value our lives and yours as much as you do" while you support abortion? You either do, or do not value life. You cannot have it both ways. Abortion is a whole other argument, which you already know my views on. My opinion is summed up best by the bumper sticker, "Guns do not kill people, but abortions do".

So now you support a law telling people what they can and cannot do in their place of business? This is ludicrous, the will of the people is not in synch with the left wing agenda so we shall beat them into submission with oppressive legislation? As other have mentioned, if I felt strongly about the particular issue (which incidentally I do not), I would simply not order stock of the offending drug. My objection is not with the particular circumstances in this case, rather the underlying principle. However, this does bring up an interesting point; I would definitely have a problem dispensing a drug like RU486. I suppose that it is a good thing that I am not a pharmacist.

If I am reading your post correctly Erik, you are suggesting that force feeding leftists beliefs on people is something to applaud. On the flip side you often gripe about those “nutty religious zealots” who are “forcing” their religion upon you. Is this not the same thing? I find your views incompatible with mine but you would have the legislature force your view on me. Smells like socialism to me, how long until we have a ministry of “health” in the Orwellian spirit?

Erik Grow said...

No, read the description of the law again. They are not forcing individuals to do anything. They are just saying that if they sell it in the pharmacy, and a pharmacist is there that won't do it, then another must be available. It also doesn't say that the pharmacy has to carry it. All they are saying is, is to either sell it or not sell it, but not sell it selectively. It's an easy solution that shouldn't offend anyone. It's all above board and no guesswork by the patient or doctor. I'm not sure why it's so scary to conservatives.

nicnerd said...

Big government sucks