Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Funny or no?

I have a (rather conservative) friend applying to pharmacy school. Understandably, the interview turned to questions about birth control, particularly emergency birth control.* I don't know entirely how my friend responded, but knowing his moral and religious beliefs, I'm fairly certain that he said that he would personally not want to dispense emergency b.c.** but that he would want the prescription to be able to be filled by someone at the same pharmacy and would never hold the prescription.***

Well, the interviewer then asked (and I don't know the tone of the question, but it was clearly a snarky joke), "What if Jenna Bush came in asking for it?"

I can't decide whether this is kind of funny or completely inappropriate. I mean, first, well, it's a dorky joke. I laughed. But, on the other hand, it is implying that my friend's beliefs on this matter are more shaped by partisan politics than sincere ethical qualms. Now, don't get me wrong, I imply such things to him all the time. But, in an interview for graduate school?

I am bothered by the fact that in his report of the interview, the professor may have negative feelings toward my friend because he disagrees with him politically. That would be patently unfair. A counterpoint (not to the [in]appropriateness of the joke but to politics as an admissions factor) to that would be that this isn't about politics at all but about doing the job that a pharmacist does, i.e. dispensing medications. Do we allow pharmacists not to dispense AIDS medication because they think it's "God's cure for the homosexual"?****

Either way, it's probably a moot point because my friend is going to get in everywhere he applied because he's brilliant and scored amazingly well on his entrance exam.

Care to weigh in here, friend? Give your views and maybe shed some light on what all was said during the interview? Inquiring minds want to know.

*Not, it is to be noted, the abortion pill, RU486. There is a difference! I realize if you read this blog you probably understand the difference, but I feel the need to get this out there. Plan B, etc. prevents conception, lowering the abortion rate. I am not sure what he thinks about regular birth control. I assume he's in favor of it!? But, then that begs the question of what is the qualitative difference between this and that. Care to respond, oh friend of mine?
***This is, of course, a huge problem with emergency b.c., which must be taken within 72 hours or there is a risk of pregnancy. Pharmacists refuse to release the prescription, and often women cannot get another one from their doctor in time. Of course, raising the abortion rate, which you would think more pro-lifers would be concerned about!!
****Just to be clear, my friend is a conservative, but thinks nothing of the sort. This is (I hope) a purely hypothetical example.

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