Freedom of conscience, employee prerogatives, and consumer choice: Veal, birth control, and tanning beds
History and Philosophy
Does a pharmacist have a right to refuse to fill certain prescriptions? In this paper, I examine cases in which an employee might refuse to do something that is part of his or her job description. I will argue that in some of these cases, an employee does have a right of refusal and in other cases an employee does not. In those cases where the employee does not have a right of refusal, I argue that the refusals (if repeated) are just cause for termination of employment. I argue that there are moral principles that support the different outcomes in the cases under consideration. I turn to pharmacy cases at the end of the paper and argue that they are analogous to cases where an employee does not have a right of refusal and thus fall under the principle that refusing to fill birth control prescriptions constitutes just cause for termination.
Link to Published Version
Dieterle, J. M. (2007). Freedom of conscience, employee prerogatives, and consumer choice: Veal, birth control, and tanning beds. Journal of Business Ethics, 77(2), 191–203. doi:10.1007/s10551-006-9308-x