In the UK, a General Pharmaceutical Council guidance clearly bars pharmacists from refusing service because of their personal or religious beliefs

In a first of its kind verdict, a German court has ruled in favour of a pharmacist who refused to sell the ‘morning-after-pill’ citing conscience reasons.

The now-retired pharmacist, who owned and operated a pharmacy in Berlin, never stocked or sold the ‘morning-after-pill’ due to his deeply held beliefs.

The legal proceedings against the pharmacist were initiated by the Berlin Chamber of Pharmacists after he refused to sell the product in his pharmacy and took the matter to the court.

ADF International, a faith-based legal advocacy organisation that supported the pharmacist in this case, said the verdict upholds the pharmacist’s right to act in accordance with his conscience.

“Personal beliefs and conscience influence all areas of a person’s life and are not simply laid down in a professional setting. This pharmacist in Berlin faced legal proceedings for choosing to act in line with his conscience. The court recognized that he did not violate the law and should not be forced to act against his personal convictions,” said Felix Böllmann, Legal Counsel for ADF International.

The Pharmacists’ Chamber can still appeal against the decision on or before January 20, 2020.

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