Duty of Referral Creates Conscience Dilemma for Pharmacists

Country: Belgium

Date of incident: May 21, 2013

Category: Government Restrictions

Attack against: Morals

Area of case: Governmental



In 2007, a law was passed requiring a pharmacist to sell any type of legal drugs. This position was modified in a pharmaceutical law on the 15th of October 2010. Article 32 now states that without prejudice of the rights of the patient, the continuity of the caring and the execution of the order, the pharmacist has the right to refuse delivery according to his conscience and refer the client immediately to another pharmacist, where the drug will be available, otherwise he needs to deliver the drug himself. Even though these changes constitute an improvement, the duty to refer to someone else who will make the objectionable drug available, is problematic to the objector.

Source and further information: The Observatory's Report 2012 on Legal Restrictions Effecting Christians in Europe