Not Saussure

September 23, 2006

Proud to be British, relieved not to be American

Filed under: Abortion, Blogroll, Bloody Yanks, UK — notsaussure @ 1:12 am

Inspired by Mr Worstall’s revelation that we have a blog about queues — which he came by via another great British institution, Councillor Bob Piper — and more particularly by this truly wonderful link from A Big Stick and A Small Carrot, I’ve been looking for my own contribution .

I quite liked the wonderful knitted English garden made from contributions from all over the country (via Boing Boing), which apparently

has been painstakingly completed by more than 300 contributors, including a group of gay men knitting in Brighton, and a 12-year-old boy in Sussex, who spent six months making the pond and waterfall.

Then, again looking through Boing Boing ,I came across this account of the complete crap an American woman got from her doctor, pharmacist and local hospitals when she wanted emergency contraception — the ‘morning after pill’ —

“No.” I state plainly. “I am not married. I’ve been in a relationship for several years and I have three children, I don’t want a fourth.” I respond tersely.

“Oh, I see.” He says and then he hurries on, “Well, see. *I* understand. I want you to know that I understand what you’re saying. But see, the problem is that we have 4 doctors here right now but only one of them ever writes EC prescriptions. But see, the thing is that he’ll interview you and see if you meet his criteria. Now, I called the pharmacy but I also talked to him and well….*clears throat*….you can come down and try to get it. You know, if you meet his criteria he’ll give you a prescription, I mean, there’s really no harm in trying.” the nurse trails off, his voice falters as I realize what I’m being told.

More, much more at Biting Beaver

What is it with the Americans? Over here you can buy it without a prescription from just about any pharmacist, and while they apparently

Under the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Code of Ethics and Standards which all pharmacists are expected to follow, a pharmacist is allowed to refuse to sell or dispense drugs because of their religious beliefs or personal convictions

it’s a a news story when they do. Meanwhile, over in the States, this sort of nonsense seems not to be particularly uncommon.

The Americans seem to interpret freedom of conscience in a very particular way; I’ve always been impressed by the attitude of a GP friend of mine who, while he could ask other doctors in his practice to deal with requests for abortions — to which he’s got strong religious objections — doesn’t because he doesn’t see it’s consistent with his role as doctor to force his religious beliefs on patients who don’t share them. Seems a far more mature attitude.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Thus far I have tried to avoid looking outward to other countries to define Britishness, but I have just read Proud to be British, Relieved not to be American and linked from there to this article on the BBC and I am so angry that I need to vent somewhere. […]

    Pingback by Definition Britain » Blog Archive » Basic Human Rights — September 23, 2006 @ 8:36 am


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