Pharmacist Knows Best? Enacting Legislation in Oklahoma Prohibiting Pharmacists from Refusing to Provide Emergency Contraceptives

By Watt, Misty Cooper | Issues in Law & Medicine, Spring 2008 | Go to article overview

Pharmacist Knows Best? Enacting Legislation in Oklahoma Prohibiting Pharmacists from Refusing to Provide Emergency Contraceptives


Watt, Misty Cooper, Issues in Law & Medicine


Misty Cooper Watt, Pharmacist Knows Best? Enacting Legislation in Oklahoma Prohibiting Pharmacists from Refusing to Provide Emergency Contraceptives, 42 TULSA L. REV. 771 (2007).

Since the FDA made emergency contraceptives available over-but-behind the pharmacist counter, physicians have been excluded from the decision of whether a patient should receive emergency contraceptives. However, prescriptions are still required to receive emergency contraceptives for women under the age of eighteen. In such instances, physicians, rather than pharmacists, should be the gatekeepers of prescription medications. The traditional role of physicians, as far as prescriptions are concerned, is to be the prescriber. The physician diagnoses what medication the patient needs and writes a prescription. The pharmacist, on the other hand, is the dispenser. The pharmacist fills the prescription and gives it to the patient with very few exceptions. When pharmacists decide not to fill valid, legal prescriptions without a solid basis such as drug interactions, they take themselves out of the role of dispenser and put themselves in the role of physician. This presents major problems because the professions are meant to be separate and pharmacists are not in a position to overstep the decisions made by physicians. Pharmacists have different relationships with their customers than those between physicians and their patients. Likewise, pharmacists are trained and regulated only to be dispensers of medications.

Recently, there has been a debate concerning whether physicians should be able to dispense medications. Pharmacists and other critics of this developing trend argue that it is important to keep the professions separate. Besides obvious financial motivations influencing this argument for pharmacists, there is also a belief that the division of labor in these two professions developed out of necessity. Pharmacists and physicians have different education, training and skills. Over time, these differences evolved into a separation of the two professions. Allowing physicians to dispense medication would disrupt this traditional separation and the customary "checks and balances." It also creates a likelihood that patients will not be served as effectively because pharmacists and physicians specialize in different fields. In an era in which specialization in medicine is considered good for creating health care providers better able to treat the patient's specific needs, it would curtail the positive effects of specialization to allow the professions of physicians and pharmacists to overlap. Arguments, often made by pharmacists, that physicians should not cross the line and serve as pharmacists can easily be used to support the argument that pharmacists should not cross the line to serve as physicians deciding whether a patient should receive a medication.

The personal relationship between doctor and patient is typically built upon trust. Much of this trust stems from the conduct physicians practice under the Hippocratic Oath. The Hippocratic Oath commands the physician to protect the patient's privacy. It explicitly states that "[w]hat I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about." Thus, patients' knowledge that the physicians must keep their information private results in a higher likelihood that patients will trust their relationships with physicians. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Pharmacist Knows Best? Enacting Legislation in Oklahoma Prohibiting Pharmacists from Refusing to Provide Emergency Contraceptives
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.