Cameron Maxwell of the Edmonton Sun reported that Calgary’s Roman Catholic Bishop, Frederick Henry, supports pharmacists who refuse to sell “morning after” pills for reasons of conscience, as well as nurses who do not wish to participate in abortion.
Bishop Henry spoke of the need for protection of conscience legislation for all health care professionals. He noted that it was unfair that physicians could refuse to be involved in abortions, while nurses, pharmacists and others were denied similar consideration. Henry had first-hand experience with the problems faced by conscientious objectors when he was Bishop of Thunder Bay (See Bishop protests on behalf of nurses (Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada)(1997) ). He cited the more recent case of nurses at Calgary’s Foothills Hospital to illustrate the need for legislation. (See Foothills Hospital Now Forces Nurses To Participate In Genetic Terminations ; Nurses At Foothills Hospital Rebel Over The Horrifying Results Of Late-Term ‘Genetic Terminations’) .
In a controversial policy change, announced this week the College of Pharmacists of B.C. decided to allow pharmacists to hand out the morning after pill, Preven, over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. In response, Greg Eberhart, registrar of the Alberta Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) has stated that “The APhA hopes to follow B.C.’s push…”
“There has been no dialogue between the membership of the APhA and its executive, as to how pharmacists stand on this position,” says Ms. Maria Bizecki, spokesperson for the group Concerned Phamacists for Conscience (CPC). Ms. Bizecki further states the APhA executive finds itself under increased pressure from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC), to dispense this product over the counter.
In 1995, the issue of a “conscience clause” came before the APhA membership and was passed, but, after consideration, dismissed by the APhA’s self-appointed Regulatory Affairs Committee. “Forcing pharmacists to dispense or refer patients requesting Preven, an abortion causing drug developed to primarily act during Implantation of an embryo, is an insult to the autonomy of the pharmacist, the profession of pharmacy, and a health risk to women” adds Ms.Bizecki.
Concerned Pharmacists for Conscience (CPC) is opposed to pharmacists dispensing medications that violate their conscience on moral, medical ethical, or religious grounds.
For further information: Ms. Maria Bizecki, spokesperson Tel: (403) 228-2190 Fax:(403) 228-2249
Nurses At Foothills Hospital Rebel Over The Horrifying Results Of Late-Term ‘Genetic Terminations’
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Genetic terminations unquestionably constitute murder in the minds of the Foothills nurses who contacted this magazine after hospital administrators demanded they assist with abortions. The nurses are backed by a February 26 administrative memo obtained by this magazine which states that for Maternity Care Centre (MCC) staff, “not participating in terminations is not an option.”
At Calgary’s Foothills Hospital some premature infants are born alive, then routinely allowed to die. For instance, last August a doctor told a mother-to-be that her baby suffered from lethal genetic defects. The mother was persuaded to undergo a “genetic
termination,” and a regularly used procedure called an induction abortion was performed only five weeks before the baby was due. Chemically induced labour was followed by a live birth. But because the mother had decided her child should not live, nurses were forbidden to provide even such basics as food and fluids. [Full text]
Foothills Hospital Now Forces Nurses To Participate In Genetic Terminations
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
“The present mood is…chaotic, helpless, frustrated and highly emotional,” Sally wrote. In the past weeks, I have witnessed tears, breakdowns, illnesses, and stress such as never before…Sick calls have been high and experienced staff nearly impossible to recruit.”
Though the tiny infant had been condemned to die, distraught nurses at Calgary’s Foothills Hospital spent hours last August caring for it anyway.
“The mother didn’t want the baby, so we took turns rocking and holding it for 12 hours until it finally died,” says Foothills nurse “Catherine,” whose real name has been withheld to protect her job. “Nurses were only allowed to comfort the suffering infant, but this did not even include feedings.”
The rejected baby’s fate was sealed when it survived a “genetic termination,” an abortion performed only five weeks before the mother’s due date. Doctors had told her that her baby had lethal genetic defects. But Catherine could see only a baby. “I was sick for weeks,” she says. [Full text]