My concerns with changes to the conscience clause

I read with interest about the proposed change to the conscience clause for pharmacists (

The Pharmaceutical Journal online, 22 December 2016
). This concerns me.

I have been a Christian for 59 years and a pharmacist for 36 years. One of the reasons I chose pharmacy was that, unlike medicine, there was no pressure to compromise my own values and beliefs.

When various new services were introduced, such as the availability of contraception on the NHS, the legalisation of abortion in Britain, etc, there were built-in safeguards for those of us who joined the profession to opt out of providing certain services that goes against our beliefs.

Now the powers that be seem intent on taking away our freedom of conscience. There is already a great deal of pressure on me and like-minded people to cave in to providing emergency hormonal contraception and other services that I deem unethical. And in the future, if the conscience clause no longer exists, would I be pressured to provide services such as assisted dying?

Andrew Paxton


Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, January 2017, Vol 298, No 7897;298(7897):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20202195

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