WAUSAU, Wis. - A state appeals court upheld sanctions Tuesday against a pharmacist who refused to dispense birth control pills to a woman and wouldn't transfer her prescription elsewhere.Once again, this is not difficult to understand: Your license to practice is granted by the State and is a privilege. The State tells you what you can and/or must do. If you don't want to do it, do something else.
The 3rd District Court of Appeals ruled that the punishment the state Pharmacy Examining Board handed down against pharmacist Neil Noesen did not violate his state constitutional rights, specifically his "right of conscience" to religiously oppose birth control.
"Noesen abandoned even the steps necessary to perform in a minimally competent manner under any standard of care," the three-judge panel said. The decision upheld a ruling by Barron County Circuit Judge James Babler.
In my accounting practice, the IRS has decided I need to keep records on every number on every tax return I prepare and can no longer rely on oral substantiation from my clients. That means more record keeping for me, more expense for my clients. If I don't like it, I can get into some other career field.
To make sure I remain competent, in my accountancy practice, I must take 80 hours of professional education every two years. If I don't like it, I can get into some other career field. In fact, the list of "wills" and "musts" goes on for quite some length.
Should I fail to comply, I can be penalized, suspended or even terminated from my profession. I understood that going into my profession because I was clear on the concept that being a Certified Public Accountant is a privilege the State grants to me for my demonstrated excellence in accounting. And that this license, and protected designation, serves to separate me, and protect the public, from the fly-by-night hacks that would otherwise pollute the market in some laissez-faire, libertarian-ideology-fest.
Anyway, scoundrel that he is, Noesen plays the religious card:
Noesen, 34, of St. Paul, Minn., told regulators that he is a devout Roman Catholic and refused to refill the prescription or release it to another pharmacy because he didn't want to commit a sin by "impairing the fertility of a human being."When ever I see the religious card being played, I always wish I could dig into the life of the holy-roller. I bet dollars to donuts that he's got a venial sin list as long as my arm and, really, should have better things to do than force his religious beliefs on others.
But it simply comes down to: If your religious beliefs interfere with your practicing medicine, you need to leave the field. Last thing anyone needs is to die, or be forced to get an abortion, or be impaired for the rest of our lives because you got a holy-roller feather up your butt.