Thursday, January 13, 2011

Conscience Clause and Idaho

From Idaho Press Tribune:

Idaho Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Mark Johnston confirmed that the board received the complaint alleging that on Nov. 6 a Walgreens pharmacist refused to fill a prescription ordered by one of Planned Parenthood's Boise-based nurse practitioners. The prescription was for a Planned Parenthood patient for Methergine, a medicine used to prevent or control bleeding of the uterus following childbirth or an abortion.
An inquiry to Walgreens' Corporate office seeking comment was not immediately addressed.
Planned Parenthood officials said the complaint states that the pharmacist inquired if the patient needed the drug for post-abortion care. The nurse refused to answer the question based on confidentiality of health information.
According to Planned Parenthood, the pharmacist then stated that if the nurse practitioner did not disclose that information, she would not fill the prescription.
As is pointed out here, not controlling such bleeding could kill the patient. My impression is that the conscience clause was never supposed to cover life-saving care but I may be mistaken in that.