Eye On Boise

Pharmacist conscience bill heads for amendment

Pharmacist Gloria Hansen testifies to the House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday on legislation guaranteeing pharmacists the right to refuse to fill prescriptions on the basis of conscience. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)
Pharmacist Gloria Hansen testifies to the House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday on legislation guaranteeing pharmacists the right to refuse to fill prescriptions on the basis of conscience. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Rep. Tom Loertscher's bill to give pharmacists or "any person" the right to refuse to fill a prescription for a patient on the basis of conscience is headed for the House's amending order, to revise the bill so it applies only to pharmacists - not to cashiers, stores, or others. Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, proposed the amendments. "It's simply a matter of burden of proof," he said. "I don't think it will change in any way the current practices, because people do have that right." Emotional testimony on the bill stretched for two days before it was approved for amendment on a 14-4 vote. The testimony included pharmacists and other experts who said Idaho pharmacists already have the right to refuse to fill a prescription; Idaho has no law requiring them to fill all prescriptions. Among those who testified was pharmacist Gloria Hansen, who said, "I do know that we need to act according to our conscience. .. I lean on the rock which is the lord God."




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