Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kansas Anti-Birth Control Bill

As I was perusing the interwebs last night I stumbled across numerous people complaining about a bill that the state of Kansas just passed concerning birth control.

"I've been on birth control (I chose to) for the last few years. I think it's bulls**t that certain states have laws that allow pharmacists to deny women BCP's if they believe it's immoral. Last I checked this is 2012, not 1960!"

"Controlling birth-control is another way to control women; something our society is very fond of. We're treated like inept children who cannot be trusted to function on their own. I can only get access to 1 month supply's at a time, and one of the arguments is that women might 'over dose' themselves on their BC so we shouldn't be given too many months supply at a time. I wish I was kidding.  It's controlling women, controlling our bodies, and owning us. Every woman regardless of opinion on BC should be furious with this."

"So I would be screwed if I lived in the states. I suffer from ovarian cysts and the only thing keeping me from unbearable pain and surgery to remove the cysts or in a worst case scenario my ovaries is the pill."

I feel quite passionate about this bill too, but I am sad that the government feels as though it is necessary.  The public looks at the pharmacy and sees it as nothing more than a dispensary.  A place to get the medicine that a doctor, PA, nurse practitioner, or dentist prescribed.  A place where a pharmacist has no business second-guessing what a health practitioner prescribed for.  A place where the pharmacist simply dispenses the medication, and has no emotion or opinion about it.

A pharmacist should be able to question the validity of a prescription.  If a patient is constantly refilling medications early, or too late, then maybe they are taking them improperly to begin with.  If they are taking numerous medications in the same drug class, that also needs to be looked at.  If they are doctor shopping and getting numerous medications, that should be flagged.

I agree that a woman should be able to decide what to do with her own body and should feel free to go wherever she welcomes to receive this treatment.  I do not, however, believe that a practitioner should be forced to do something that he or she is uncomfortable with.

From one of the excerpts that I found here:

"No person shall be required to perform, refer for, or participate in medical procedures or in the prescription or administration of any device or drug which result in the termination of a pregnancy or an effected of which the person reasonably believes may result in the termination of a pregnancy, and the refusal of any person to perform, refer for, or participate in those medical procedures, prescription or administration shall not be a basis for civil liability to any person.  No medical care facility, medical care facility administrator or governing board of any medical care facility shall terminate the employment of, prevent or impair the practice or occupation of or impose any other sanction on any person because of such person’s exercise of rights protected by this section."

Basically, from my understanding, it is saying that a medical professional has the right to refuse service to a patient due to their religious and/or spiritual affiliations and beliefs.

Hm.  Okay.  I understand that aspect of the bill.  Freedom of beliefs should be enjoyed by all people.

The only issue that I take with this bill is the "...the refusal of any person to perform, refer for, or participate...."

So a medical professional can refuse the service AND not be obligated to refer the patient who would do such a service?  That seems quite childish and unprofessional to me.  "I don't believe that what you're doing is right even though it is your choice to make about your own body, so I'm not even going to help you find someone who would.  :-P !"

A medical professional is a person who wants to help a patient as much as possible and do what they can to complete such tasks.  However, a professional should not feel as though they are threatened of being fired, demoted, or just blacklisted for doing what they feel is right for themselves.

If the bill removed the "referring" clause, I think I could stand behind this idea.

P.S. - I am a female who has been taking oral contraceptives on and off for the past 3 years.  I take it for the lovely cramping, acne, and PMS issues (severe depression and anger), as well as a contraceptive.  I have taken Plan B before and have no issue providing it to patients.

Please let me know your thoughts.

So much to say!

So many things have occurred since my last posting.  I have finished my first year as a pharmacy student.  I passed all of my spring semester classes, and was only 0.10 points from making Dean's List.  I'm so happy to be done with the year though.  Now I get to crochet and read as much as my heart desires!

My school is a tad different than most pharmacy schools.  Instead of completing internships and rotations during the summer between school years, we do them during the semester on a designated day.  However, we are trying the summer rotations this year.  I am completing my retail phase right now and will participate in the institutional phase (hospital) in the fall.

I am with a local, somewhat private pharmacy / knick knack store that has 2 other locations within the state.  They cater to a much older crowd, and I like it in a lot of ways because there is not a lot of red tape to go through to do what you feel is best for your patient.

"Oh look, we're running low on [drug].  We'll order some more, but in the meantime give [patient] our last #15 and we'll owe them the rest when it comes in."

No three day loans!  You can loan them as much as you want!  And the on-orders come every day of the week!

The patients know the technicians and the pharmacists, and will sometimes just stop by to chat.  It's truly surreal...

However, given that it is largely populated by the elderly generations, there can be some short fuses for all parties involved.  Needless to say one technician is no longer with us in the pharmacy because things became a little too heated.

All that aside, I feel very welcomed into my rotation site.  I feel more accepted there in the 2 weeks I've been there than in 10 months at my workplace.  It truly makes a huge difference depending on the people that you work with.  If I hadn't just received health and 401K benefits at my workplace, I would seriously consider asking to be hired onto my rotation site...