Whose Ethic Is It Anyway?

Yesterday’s news had a story about pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions of the “morning after” pill. They equate the pill to abortion. The cliche is that you should never talk about religion or politics. Abortion is both, so I won’t delve into it. What I find interesting is that these pharmacists are putting their ethics before the pharmacy’s or the customer’s ethics.

Should a manager put their ethics first? What about following the company’s ethics? The government’s ethics? Or the public’s? It does seem at times that corporations will only be ethical up to the point of regulations. Some executives will go the step further and follow their own morality. Of course, often it is the opposite (Enron and all the other scandals).

I believe people, no matter what their station in a company, should be moral and ethical. I also think you should be objective and not force your beliefs on others. Everyone knows lying is wrong, or stealing from the public. But, should CEOs run their businesses as Pro-life? In such a controversial topic there should be compromise.

A few states have laws to give pharmacists the choice to refuse giving certain prescriptions. Some add the requirement that when they exercise this right, they need to give a referral to another pharmacy that can help them. Thus, the customer’s rights aren’t stepped on. That is the way to do it, both on a personal scale and in the larger corporate world. What do you think?KO