No Conscientious Objection in Pharmacies, says Health Minister

Total Croatia News

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ZAGREB, November 17, 2018 – After a pharmacist in Zagreb refused to issue contraceptive pills to a patient, citing conscientious objection, Health Minister Milan Kujundžić said on Friday that the pharmacist’s behaviour was impermissible, while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) called for urgent regulations regarding conscientious objection so as to prevent recurrence of similar cases of denying someone medication or health protection.

There is nothing that a pharmacist has the right to deny a patient based on conscious objection, Kujundžić said after a government meeting when asked about the incident. “Every patient has the right to be issued with a prescribed medication in any pharmacy. The pharmacist has the right to freedom of conscience but not in the workplace, in the pharmacy,” the minister explained.

In response to the incident the opposition SDP called on the Croatian Medical Chamber to finally present its official stance on the issue of the conscientious objection and said that that it expected the Health Ministry and Minister Kujundžić to regulate acts when conscientious objection can be cited.

SDP expects the authorities to draw up registers of pharmacists, physicians and other health personnel citing conscientious objection because citizens have the right to that information.

“We don’t have to point out that actually (non)regulation of conscientious objection is usually at the expense of women in exercising their right to terminate pregnancy,” SDP said in a press release.

In light of the fact that a month ago a very large number of women decided to break their silence and talk about violations of their rights regarding reproductive health, and also about the treatment in hospitals with gynaecological wards, we consider this to be yet another attack on women’s rights in Croatia, SDP said.

For more on the position of women in Croatia and attempts to deny them their rights, click here.


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