- Ask your Pharmacist if he or she intends to fill a prescription for a lethal dose of drugs.
- Ask if the pharmacy has established a policy relating to assisted-suicide drugs, and request a copy.
- Express your desire to use a pharmacy that does not participate in assisting suicides.
- See below for talking points if you need ideas for what to say.
- Please notify Vermont Right to Life with the results of your inquiry.
Pro-lifers across Vermont are asking their pharmacist if they intend to fill a lethal prescription for a patient to end their life under Act 39, the law that legalized doctor-prescribed suicide in our State.
Please take a moment to inquire of your pharmacist in your local community if he or she intends to participate in filling a prescription for a lethal dose of drugs and express your desire to use a pharmacist and a pharmacy that refuses to fill such a prescription. It is important to inform your pharmacist that, by all accounts, there will be few requests for a lethal prescription, while a good number of pro-lifers like you may decide to take their regular prescriptions to those pharmacists who will not engage in ending human lives.
You can also inform your pharmacist that the law was so hastily crafted that lawmakers failed to include immunity for pharmacists should something go wrong! The law provides immunity for the physician who writes the prescription, but fails to provide immunity for the pharmacist who fills the prescription. Please encourage your pharmacist to obtain a legal opinion from a lawyer about the risks involved or to read the law for themselves. Also, even if you or one of your loved ones does not use prescription drugs, you could decide to take your chain store shopping elsewhere.
Here are some suggestions for discussion:
Customer knows the pharmacist: “Hi Joe. I know you are very busy so I will tell you right off what is on my mind. I am upset about the physician- assisted suicide law and I do not want my physician or pharmacist to be a part of it. Are you planning on filling such prescriptions if they come to you?”
If your pharmacist equivocates, then the customer should make it clear to them that they will be moving all their prescriptions to another pharmacy that will not fill such prescriptions. (To those saying this, please be ready to do what you say you will do. To threaten this without following through would be counterproductive.)
If the pharmacy or pharmacist says something that indicates they have no choice under the law but to fill the prescription, the customer should say: “I know for a fact that the statute gives the pharmacist the right to refuse to fill such prescriptions and no one, not the state or the employer or anyone can make them fill the prescription.”
If the pharmacist says that in some cases it might be the right thing to do, the customer can say: “No one should have the right to take another’s life in this way. Doctors have been wrong many times in diagnosing a patient. There are many other reasons why this will result in terrible consequences where innocent lives will be lost and people, both the patient and the family, will suffer because of what was done. As a pharmacist, you should be aware of the side effects and know that many people will botch their attempt and by filling such a prescription, you have taken a part in this suffering.”
If the pharmacists say that it is up to his employer, the customer can say: “I know for a fact that the law gives complete authority to the pharmacist to make their own decision and no one else can influence that.” The customer should be aware of the law giving immunity to the doctor but the law’s failure to give that same immunity to the pharmacist.”
Many thanks for any assistance you can lend to this effort to prevent assisted suicides.