Consistently Inconsistent

From the right, support for the pharmacists who desire (for personal ethical reasons) wish to withhold sales of products they find objectionable, i.e., abortofacients. The left objects.

From the left, support for doctors in California not willing to participate in execution by lethal injection. And likewise, the right objects.

Both cases involve the state compelling medical professionals to do things which they find morally objectionable. But many find one example ok, but the other not … however both abstracted from the particulars of the issue involve exactly the same question … Is can the state correct in compelling behaviour from the medical community. At issue here is if the state might in its interest compel one to forego the hippocratic oath (either to terminate an unborn innocent or to execute dastardly men who have had their day in court). It seems to me, that it is inconsistent to support one and not the other in either case.

And it’s important to note here, that the inconsitency is not that the one (pharmacists) are “wrong” because the fetus has less rights or that the doctors are wrong because the conviction and sentence was just and or anything related to those issues. The point is, that it is pretty much incontroversial that doctors and pharmacists will have different solutions to the ethical questions raised in their practice. Can and should the state compell them in cases involving life? or other decisions?

Please discuss.

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