The US case brings to light concerns around conscientious objection at a time when a federal religious discrimination bill is being debated in Australia
Exract A woman has filed a lawsuit against a Thrifty White Pharmacy and a CVS Pharmacy in Minnesota in the US, alleging the two pharmacies illegally kept her from accessing emergency contraception.
Andrea Anderson, a 39-year-old mother of five, says she asked the pharmacist at her drugstore in Minnesota more than once why he couldn’t fill her prescription for emergency contraception, according to the Star Tribune.
“I then realised what was happening: he was refusing to fill my prescription for emergency contraception because he did not believe in it,” Ms Anderson said on Tuesday.
Extract Religious groups, doctor’s organizations, ethicists and abortion rights advocates are raising concerns around the review of an Ontario policy that outlines, among other things, physicians’ right to object to patients’ requests for services on moral grounds.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s Physicians and Ontario Human Rights Code is up for its five-year review, with both public and expert opinion being sought. . .
Extract Easy access to abortion and advances in prenatal sex determination have combined to make Canada a haven for parents who would terminate female fetuses in favour of having sons, despite overwhelming censure of the practice, economists and bioethics experts say.
Arguing that Canadian lawmakers’ silence on the issue is undermining the status of women, they’re calling for federal legislation to uphold societal and professional values opposing sex-selective abortion, either through a direct ban or restrictions on the disclosure of fetal gender. They also contend that sex-selective abortion is forcing physicians to compromise between their ethical obligations to discourage sex selection and legal obligations to respect their patients’ autonomy. . .
Extract One in seven UK based scientists or doctors has witnessed colleagues intentionally altering or fabricating data during their research or for the purposes of publication, found a survey of more than 2700 researchers conducted by the BMJ.
The survey, which was emailed to 9036 academics and clinicians who had submitted articles to the BMJ or acted as peer reviewers for the journal (response rate 31%), found that 13% of these researchers admitted knowledge of colleagues “inappropriately adjusting, excluding, altering, or fabricating data” for the purpose of publication.
(Article compares approach to freedom of conscience in health care in the US and Canada) Extract Advocates of compulsory referral claim that doctors who discriminate against certain practices are, whether they know it or not, also discriminating against certain people — namely, the poor, the uneducated and those in remote areas. These people already have limited access to medical services, a problem that, all sides agree, is exacerbated when their doctors refuse to present them with all their options.
Abstract Progress continues in Russia with growing awareness and implementation of alternatives in education. Further outreach visits and negotiations for replacement have been made by InterNICHE campaigners. Russian language information resources have been complemented by the distribution of translated freeware physiology and pharmacology alternatives; and the InterNICHE Alternatives Loan Systems continue to provide valuable hands-on access to a range of learning tools. Donations of computers and alternatives have established exemplary multimedia laboratories, with software having directly replaced the annual use of several thousand animals. New agreements have been made with institutes to abandon animal experiments for teaching purposes. Work to consolidate the successes is being done, and Russian teachers have begun to present at conferences to share their experiences of implementation. Further development and implementation of alternatives is being achieved through grant funding from the InterNICHE Humane Education Award. Using a different approach, cases of determined conscientious objection have included a campaign against the use of stolen companion animals for surgery practice in the Russian Far East, and a continuing legal challenge to experiments at Moscow State University. This multi-pronged, decentralised and culturally appropriate campaigning strategy has proved to be an effective approach to achieving sustainable change in Russia..
Extract Doctors and other healthcare staff who take any part in executions by lethal injection should be punished by their professional bodies, says the human rights organisation, Amnesty International.
Extract The New Brunswick government is refusing to pay for abortions performed at private clinics, despite renewed warnings from Ottawa. Federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh told the province it is violating the Canada Health Act . . . New Brunswick medicare only pays for abortions up to 12 weeks, performed in hospitals with the approval of 2 physicians. About 600 women a year pay up to 750 for the procedure at the Morgentaler clinic.
Extract Religious fundamentalism and a lack of resources are the chief barriers to achieving sexual and reproductive rights for all by 2015, concluded the 2004 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) . . . Katherine McDonald, president of Action Canada for Population and Development, said that advocates of the Cairo consensus have been overly distracted by their efforts to isolate and shame US and conservative backlash and must reinvest in a commitment to human rights. “In-depth policy analyses of sexual, reproductive, and abortion rights are lacking,” she said.
Extract Three years after the US government approved mifepristone (Mifeprex or RU-486), use of the so-called “abortion pill” has increased 70%. . . . Mifepristone, a progesterone blocker, induces abortion in women who are up to 8 weeks pregnant.