Tim – Pharmacists’ Conscience Rights
Tim* is a Christian pharmacist in Tasmania who faced potential disciplinary action because, as a matter of conscience, he did not supply abortion drugs in his pharmacy.
During a normal workday, a customer requested that Tim supply the “day after” pill – a very powerful abortifacient drug. He informed the customer that his pharmacy did not stock this item and referred them to a number of other pharmacies that stocked the drug.
After the customer left, a junior staff member angrily confronted Tim and shouted at him that he shouldn’t be working at the pharmacy because of his beliefs and that he was discriminating against customers.
She reported him to the head manager of the pharmacy. Tim was called into a meeting with his boss. With advice from HRLA, Tim was able to resolve the issue without facing any adverse action. Tim was worried that he might lose his job over the incident and suffered significant stress and anxiety.
Tim did nothing wrong. Apart from the fact that the pharmacy didn’t stock the pill, he has the right to conscientiously object to provide abortifacients. Tim is a good example of how Christians are facing increasing hostile opposition to their beliefs in the health professions and are finding it harder to practice consistent with their conscience.
*Clients have been de-identified where settlements were confidential, where issues are sensitive, where requested or where the matter is currently before the Courts.
If you or someone you know is involved in a similar case, we may be able to help. You can contact us via our Legal Help page.
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