Calgary Co-operative Association accommodates pharmacist freedom of conscience
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).
To Calgary Co-operative Association
19 December, 2001
I have discussed with my client her proposed return to work under the
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
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
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