April 27, 2008

How do you make a hormone*

Neil Noeson is an alleged pharmacist that refused to fill a prescription for oral contraceptives in a K-Mart at Menomonie, WI, in 2002.

Noesen additionally refused to tell the patient where she could get her prescription filled. When the patient went and found a Menomonie Wal-Mart, Noesen even refused to provide the information that would have allowed the latter's druggist to fill the prescription. By the time the patient was able to fill her prescription two days later, she had missed the first prescribed dose.

All because Neil Noeson is a self-righteous, self-appointed religious crusader, a "conscientious objector" contra contraception. Of course the initial mistake was committed by the patient, whom Noeson asked for what purpose the medication was prescribed, because it has physiological uses other than preventing pregnancy. Rather than answering the pharmacist honestly, as she did, she should have told him to mind his own goddamn business and just do his job.

In so many words, of course.

The patient justly filed a complaint with the appropriate State executive agency and Noesen was properly reprimanded and disciplined. Noesen appealed the ruling of the adminstrative tribunal, and was unequivocally smacked down once more late last month by the District III Court of Appeals in Noesen v. Wisconsin Dept. of Regulation and Licensing (.pdf, 16 pgs.).

Wrote the court:
In short, Noesen abandoned even the steps necessary to perform in a “minimally competent” manner under any standard of care. He prevented all efforts [the patient] made to obtain her medication elsewhere when he refused to complete the transfer and gave her no options for obtaining her legally prescribed medication elsewhere. The [licensing] Board could therefore properly conclude he violated a standard of care applicable to pharmacists: it does not matter which standard, because Noesen’s behavior “substantially departs” from all of them [lol!].
Last week Noeson appealed again, to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. This will be a good test case for Mike Gableman to apply his famously vacuous "fair reading of the plain language of the law" mantra or else perhaps he'll be able to miraculously divine a constitutional right for Neil Noesen to have deliberately and intentionally interfered with the health and safety of the woman in question on "religious" grounds.

* Don't pay her.

UPDATE: Talkin' Neil Noeson Birth Control Pill BluesJ-S Online
"I'm part of the problem," he said.
I bet he's a real effective contraceptive at parties.


capper said...

There will be som many gut checks on that bench, that they should just put holes in the seats to save the justices time.

Perhaps we should be buying stock in Imodeum?

Other Side said...

Noesen said the discipline "critically devastated" his business as a traveling pharmacist because some pharmacies refused to hire him and he lost his liability insurance, court records said.

Who does this guy think he is, the Catholic version of Johnny Appleseed?

Anonymous said...

Although a "Christian conservative," I agree with your thoughts here, iT.

If a pharmacist is going to act as Noesen did, 1) he should notify his employer (K-Mart), 2)have someone else fill the prescription, 3) provide the patient with an alternative, e.g., the Wal-Mart, 4)forward the information to another pharmacy, and 5) most importantly, not bitch and complain when the results of that stand do not suit them.

Unfortunately, some of my fellow Christians believe it is their lot to rectify all situations that go against their reading of the Bible and when things don't go their way, moan and cry.

kay said...

Isn't there some aspect of this that could be seen as theft? He either got the prescription in paper form which she was given by a doctor or he had it in electronic form which a doctor had sent him specifically for her. Either way it has to be her property after the doctor wrote it specifically for her. There has to be a value attached to it since it cost money to go to the doctor and have it written in the first place.
I see it no different than if I were to give a $50 bill to the local gas station, ask for a carton of smokes and have the guy say he won't give them to me because they're bad for my health--and he's keeping the $50.
I know that this isn't the primary concern on this case, but I'm just curious about that aspect. Personally, if I would have been her I would have called the police at that time to retrieve the prescription.

Anonymous said...

While I concur with the moral convictions of the pharmacist (they make economical sense too with all these Baby Boomers nearing retirement and placing a massive strain on the Social Security program), the woman should have simply told him to mind his own business. That's not too terribly hard, is it?

illusory tenant said...

I bet it's not hard for you!

Tom said...

You're right, it's not hard for me, being the curmudgeon that I am. I have never gotten into the practice of telling strangers my whole life story. When I go to the pharmacy I expect the pharmacist to tell me three things: 1. is the drug in stock, 2. can it conflict with any other drug I might be currently taking (which is why it's a good thing to pick a single pharmacist and stick with them), 3. how much the damn thing costs.

If you note, they really shouldn't have to ask me any questions other than "Can I see your insurance card?". If they want to ask me how my day is going, fine ... but anything else ... just do your damn job so I can go about my day.

NOT that I'm placing all the blame on the woman in this instance. The guy acted like an ass, and he had to know what sort of repercussions his "stance" would get him.

Do I think the country is overly medicated? Yes, I do. Do I think contraception probably wrecks longterm havoc and women rely on it too much? Yes, I do. Nevertheless, he should have at least released her prescription and let her go on her way.