A graduate counseling student at Eastern Michigan University refused, as part of her required practicum, to counsel any University client who might require advice about a homosexual relationship or a relationship involving sexual activity outside of marriage. Although the student stated that her religious beliefs prohibited her from counseling patients on these topics, she was expelled by the University for refusing to fulfill program requirements.
Last week, the Obama administration did something that didn’t capture much media attention but should have: It officially overturned a bad policy from the Bush years and issued a series of final regulations dealing with health care and the right of “conscience.”
The Washington Board of Pharmacy has made a wise (and unexpected) move.
Last night, the board voted 5-1 to keep in place a rule that protects patients’ rights. The regulation ensures that a pharmacy cannot refuse to fill prescriptions for “time-sensitive” medication, such as Plan B pills that can help prevent pregnancy after intercourse, just because it conflicts with the pharmacist’s “conscience” or religious beliefs.