Responses to Canadian Pharmaceutical Journal

The Project submitted a response to the Canadian Pharmaceutical Journal, directing attention to significant errors in Frank Archer’s legal analysis of human rights law on accommodation of religious or moral belief, and challenging prejudicial remarks made about conscientious objectors in his review. A second critical article by a constitutional lawyer was also submitted to the Journal.


Attacks on freedom of conscience in pharmacy in Canada continue

The Toronto Sun published an article by columnist Marianne Meed Ward mocking the position taken by conscientious objectors among pharmacists.

In May, 2000, prior to the decision by Manitoba pharmacists, a letter to the editor of the Pharmacy Practice (an on-line publication) had argued against the idea largely on grounds of economic self interest. (See the response of the Project)

Also in May, the Canadian Pharmaceutical Journal, owned by the Canadian Pharmacists Association, published a column asserting that pharmacists must dispense drugs despite conscientious objection, or refer patients to a pharmacist who will The column was written by Frank Archer, described as a bio-medical ethics tutor at the University of British Columbia, and a member of the ethics committee of the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia. In the same issue, the editor of the Journal declared: “Emergency contraception is here and the majority of Canadians – including most health professionals – are firmly in support. Pharmacists have a professional responsibility to help ensure safe, efficient access to all approved medicines, whatever their personal beliefs.”