Protection of Conscience Project
Protection of Conscience Project
Service, not Servitude

Service, not Servitude

Calgary Co-operative Association accommodates pharmacist freedom of conscience

Calgary, Alberta

19 December, 2001

Reproduced with permission



The following letter sets out the conditions under which an objecting pharmacist would return to work in the Calgary Co-op Pharmacy after having been suspended for declining, for reasons of conscience, to fill prescriptions from two patients for oral contraceptives. The Alberta College of Pharmacy agreed with the arrangement. Note that the pharmacist agreed to work under arrangement 4(b), not 4(a). [Administrator]

To Calgary Co-operative Association

19 December, 2001

I have discussed with my client her proposed return to work under the following conditions:

1. She will work at the Co-op Crowfoot location.

2. She will be free to substitute or switch shifts with any pharmacists at any Co-op pharmacy location provided that the shift is part of a "two-pharmacist" shift.

3. She will discontinue answering questions instigated by the patient regarding her conscientious objections.

4. She will not be required by Co-op to dispense or provide information on morally controversial products on the provided list, and in these circumstances in it Co-op policy that her rights will be respected and reasonable accommodations will be made as follows:

a) She will pass any such prescription to another pharmacist, technician or the manager, or

b) She will place the prescription in the tray, and

c) All employees will not engage in any form of retaliation as they attend to prescriptions and dispense any products on the list.

5. She will not facilitate the availability of the products listed such as calling in orders for a specific product listed (this does NOT include sending in the Medis order nightly) or counting inventory;

6. She will notify Co-op of any products, services or tasks in the future that create conflicts of conscience (a current list of which is enclosed).

7. She would like to review the letter that will be distributed to the store managers, pharmacy managers, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians regarding her conscientious objections and related products. I would also ask that this be done throughout the Co-op stores, so that it will reduce any confusion or misinterpretation regarding conscientious objections.

My client would be happy to continue to serve all her patients with respect and compassion under such conditions. Furthermore, she is available for work immediately, at your direction.

Gerald D. Chipeur
Chipeur Advocates
Barristers Solicitors