Tuesday the 13th of April

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Pharmacy regulator abandons proposal to strip conscience protections

In a U-turn of proposed policy, Britain’s pharmacy regulator has declared that Catholic pharmacists should not be forced to dispense lethal drugs against their consciences.

The General Pharmaceutical Council, the regulatory body that sets professional standards for the industry throughout the country, has backed away from controversial proposals to abolish the right of people with religious convictions to conscientiously object to dispensing the morning-after pill, contraceptives and hormone-blocking drugs used by transsexual patients.

In new guidance issued on 22nd June, it said: ‘Professionals have the right to practice in line with their religion, personal values or beliefs as long as they act in accordance with equalities and human rights law and make sure that person-centred care is not compromised.

‘It is important that pharmacy professionals work in partnership with their employers and colleagues to consider how they can practice in line with their religion, personal values and beliefs without compromising care,’ the guidance said.

Picture: A pharmacist stocks shelves at a chemist. ( Julien Behal/PA).