Friday, January 13, 2012

In France: No Conscientious Objection for Pharmacists Required to Sell RU-486

In France: A Rising Dictatorship of Relativism

Europe for Christ is reporting that:

"The pill to terminate intrauterine pregnancies known as RU-486 ['morning after pill'] has been available in France since May 1988. The French government has given the drug a non-prescription status under civl law, making it available on request from pharmacists who are required to have it in stock. The cost of the drug is 65% reimbursed under national health insurance, and available for free from family planning clinics. In December 2000, the French Assembly passed a law allowing public and parochial high school nurses to provide emergency contraception. In January 2002, French officials issued a decree allowing minors to obtain emergency contraceptives from a pharmacy at no cost and without parent's consent. Pharmacists are required to counsel young women and provide them with information about other forms of birth control. Since 1999, over 1.5 million such pills have been sold in France, 97% without a prescription. As of 2006, abortion using RU-486 was 46% of the total amount of abortions.

Catholic French pharmacists have tried to challenge the regulation under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (freedom of conscience and religion) with no success. The European Court of Human Rights in its ruling of October 2, 2001 described the refusal to sell RU-486 as 'illegal' because Article 9 does not always guarantee the right to act according to personal convictions in public, adding that if the sale of a product is legal, pharmacists should not impose their beliefs to refuse the sale of the product. The Direction Générale de la Santé (Health General Department) rejected the claim of conscientious objection based on the fact that pharmacists do not deliver the drug 'directly' to the patient, but it is the patient who actually takes it at home in exercise of her free will. The Catholic Association of French Pharmacist has underlined the right to work respecting life and the human person as stated in Article R4235-2 of the French Code of Public Health, and requested the amendment of Article L. 2212-8 to include pharmacist among health professionals entitled to claim conscientious objection.

This request is also supported by the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) on its October 7, 2010 resolution which rejected Christine McCafferty's proposal to reduce conscientious objection. PACE understands the fundamental principle to defend and promote the right of medical personnel to conscientious objection. The new resolution now says that 'no hospital, institution or person can under pressure be responsible or suffer discrimination of any kind for refusing to perform, allow or assist an abortion, miscarriage caused or euthanasia, or to submit to, or for refusing to perform any action to cause the death of a fetus or an embryo, whatever be the reasons.'

This resolution applies to both individuals and institutions, hospitals and clinics, public and private. It also protects medical personnel objectors against the pressures and discrimination that can be exercised against them.

The European Parliament has also established a a new clause (Article L. 2151-7-1) on bioethics that states 'no scientist, no engineer, technician or research assistant of any kind, no medial doctor or auxiliary is required to participate in any capacity whatsoever to research on human embryos or embryonic cells.' Therefore, pharmacists should be allowed to claim the same rights granted to other health professionals." See here.

Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, says that: " the democratic culture of our time it is commonly held that the legal system of any society should limit itself to taking account of and accepting the convictions of the majority. It should therefore be based solely upon what the majority itself considers moral and actually practises. Furthermore, if it is believed that an objective truth shared by all is de facto unattainable, then respect for the freedom of the citizens-who in a democratic system are considered the true rulers-would require that on the legislative level the autonomy of individual consciences be acknowledged. Consequently, when establishing those norms which are absolutely necessary for social coexistence, the only determining factor should be the will of the majority, whatever this may be. Hence every politician, in his or her activity, should clearly separate the realm of private conscience from that of public conduct.

As a result we have what appear to be two diametrically opposed tendencies. On the one hand, individuals claim for themselves in the moral sphere the most complete freedom of choice and demand that the State should not adopt or impose any ethical position but limit itself to guaranteeing maximum space for the freedom of each individual, with the sole limitation of not infringing on the freedom and rights of any other citizen. On the other hand, it is held that, in the exercise of public and professional duties, respect for other people's freedom of choice requires that each one should set aside his or her own convictions in order to satisfy every demand of the citizens which is recognized and guaranteed by law; in carrying out one's duties the only moral criterion should be what is laid down by the law itself. Individual responsibility is thus turned over to the civil law, with a renouncing of personal conscience, at least in the public sphere..." (No. 69).

In No. 74 of the same Encyclical Letter, the Holy Father warns that: "Christians, like all people of good will, are called upon under grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God's law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. Such cooperation occurs when an action, either by its very nature or by the form it takes in a concrete situation, can be defined as a direct participation in an act against innocent human life or a sharing in the immoral intention of the person committing it. This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it. Each individual in fact has moral responsibility for the acts which he personally performs; no one can be exempted from this responsibility, and on the basis of it everyone will be judged by God himself (cf. Rom 2:6; 14:12).

To refuse to take part in committing an injustice is not only a moral duty; it is also a basic human right. Were this not so, the human person would be forced to perform an action intrinsically incompatible with human dignity, and in this way human freedom itself, the authentic meaning and purpose of which are found in its orientation to the true and the good, would be radically compromised. What is at stake therefore is an essential right which, precisely as such, should be acknowledged and protected by civil law. In this sense, the opportunity to refuse to take part in the phases of consultation, preparation and execution of these acts against life should be guaranteed to physicians, health-care personnel, and directors of hospitals, clinics and convalescent facilities. Those who have recourse to conscientious objection must be protected not only from legal penalties but also from any negative effects on the legal, disciplinary, financial and professional plane."

The Fathers of Vatican II, in their Declaration on Religious Freedom (Dignitatis Humanae) stressed the importance of religious freedom and the right of the individual, or groups, to be free from coercion:

"This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself. This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.

It is in accordance with their dignity as persons-that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore privileged to bear personal responsibility-that all men should be at once impelled by nature and also bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth, once it is known, and to order their whole lives in accord with the demands of truth However, men cannot discharge these obligations in a manner in keeping with their own nature unless they enjoy immunity from external coercion as well as psychological freedom. Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature. In consequence, the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it and the exercise of this right is not to be impeded, provided that just public order be observed."

But while the Church respects freedom of conscience and shuns any form of coercion, our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that, "We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires.

We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man. He is the measure of true humanism. An "adult" faith is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty; a mature adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ. It is this friendship that opens us up to all that is good and gives us a criterion by which to distinguish the true from the false, and deceit from truth."

This dictatorship of relativism seeks to impose its immoral agenda on Christians in the name of "tolerance." But this "tolerance" is a sham. It is simply an attempt to make an idol out of a false conception of freedom. Again, our Holy Father explains that, "..what clearly stands behind the modern era's radical demand for freedom is the promise: You will be like God...The implicit goal of all modern freedom movements is, in the end, to be like a god, dependent on nothing and nobody, with one's own freedom not restricted by anyone else's...The primeval error of such a radically developed desire for freedom lies in the idea of a divinity that is conceived as being purely egotistical. The god thus conceived of is, not God, but an idol, indeed, the image of what the Christian tradition would call the devil, the anti-god, because therein lies the radical opposite of the true God: the true God is, of his own nature, being-for (Father), being-from (Son), and being-with (Holy Spirit). Yet man is in the image of God precisely because the being-for , from, and with constitute the basic anthropological shape. Whenever people try to free themselves from this, they are moving, not toward divinity, but toward dehumanizing, toward the destruction of being itself through the destruction of truth. The Jacobin variant of the idea of a rebellion against being human in itself, rebellion against truth, and that is why it leads people - as Sartre percipiently observed - into a self-contradictory existence that we call hell. It has thus become fairly clear that freedom is linked to a yardstick, the yardstick of reality - to truth. Freedom to destroy oneself or to destroy others is not freedom but a diabolical parody. The freedom of man is a shared freedom, freedom in a coexistence of other freedoms, which are mutually limiting and thus mutually supportive: freedom must be measured according to what I am, what we are - otherwise it abolishes itself."

In the name of "tolerance," the New World Order seeks to impose its rebellion from truth on all. It will not tolerate any dissent, any disagreement. Coercion is an acceptable tool in a dictatorship. Soon, the New Order will use violence to achieve its goals and not just coercion and propaganda. In the end, every dictatorship must rely on violence in its vain attempt to hold onto power.


Jonathan said...

The rights of Catholics are under siege everywhere. Which is why I found Cardinal George's silly apology to radical homosexual activists to be so offensive.

The faith is in retreat. And it is utterly chilling.

Martin said...

I suppose if a pharmacist owns his own business, he could be perpetually out of stock.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Shrewd Martin. Something tells me that tactic will not be tolerated. But I like the way you think.

James said...

What is going on in France is extremely disturbing. Pray for the Church there. And for all health-care providers and pharmacists.

God bless.

Michael Cole said...

Catherine Euvrard, formerly a spokeswoman for Roussel-Uclaf who now holds the same job for the new French manufacturer of RU-486, Exelgyn, has said: "When [women] take a pill, they have the feeling they are truly responsible for the abortion. ... [There can be more] psychological pain."64

"During this critical two-week period [between 49 and 63 days] the tiny embryo in an amorphous sac begins to look very much like a baby, with a discernible head and limbs. ... Nurse Frenpzel remembers a day ... when she ... saw six surgical dishes with six embryos in them by the sink. 'It was upsetting,' she said. 'It was like looking at a little row of people. The women too were shocked when they looked at what they had expelled."65

"You have to be very confident to choose this method. It may be physically more natural, but psychologically it hits you much harder. You preside over the killing of a baby, completely unblinkingly. For women who are confused or vulnerable, and of course, so many are in this position, it is really terrible."66

One woman in U.S. trials was hospitalized for depression after attempting suicide.67

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