health care right to conscience update

Wesley Smith has a good post on the continuing controversy over pharmacists and conscientious objection in the state of Washington. See

Washington’s law requiring pharmacists to dispense prescriptions, including Plan B contraceptives (the so-called morning after pill), was challenged in federal court. The Ninth Circuit (in Storman’s Inc v. Selecky) upheld the constitutionality of the law and rejected the claim that the law interfered with the religious liberty of pharmacists who objected to dispensing the drugs. The case is now back in federal district court in Washington. The parties have asked for a stay while a change in the law is considered that would relax the existing mandate.

In my view, this is precisely the sort of case-by-case accommodation that ought to be sought. I will have more to say about  this approach in my contribution to the forthcoming Ave Maria Law Review symposium on The Future of Rights of Conscience in Health Care. That symposium will feature papers from this conference, which was co-sponsored by UFL, BYU Law School, and Ave Maria School of Law.

Richard M.

Richard Myers

Richard S. Myers, the Vice-President of UFL, is Professor of Law at Ave Maria School of Law, where he teaches Antitrust, Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, and Religious Freedom. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Kenyon College and earned his law degree at Notre Dame, where he won the law school's highest academic prize. He began his legal career by clerking for Judge John F. Kilkenny of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Myers also worked for Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue in Washington, D.C. He taught at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law before joining the Ave Maria faculty. He is a co-editor of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Natural Law Tradition: Contemporary Perspectives (Catholic University of American Press, 2004) and a co-editor of Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy (Scarecrow Press, 2007). He has also published extensively on constitutional law in law reviews and also testified before Congressional and state legislative hearings on life issues. Married to Mollie Murphy, who is also on the faculty at Ave Maria School of Law, they are the proud parents of six children - Michael, Patrick, Clare, Kathleen, Matthew, and Andrew.