The Great Dictator – Wal-Mart And the Death Penalty

Last February Washington Post had an interesting article titled “Wal-Mart And the Death Penalty” which compared the parallels between California physicians who refused to participate in the execution of a convicted killer and the growing numbers of pharmacists around the country who refuse to dispense morning-after pills.

Physicians and pharmacists who refuse to participate in what they deem to be killing have more in common than many of us might like to admit. But the most important distinction between them has to do with their differing relationship with patients. The law recognizes that doctors’ special relationship with their patients warrants a legal privilege: Their discussions are kept secret. You may like and trust your pharmacist. You may even trust him with intimate details about your yeast infection. But your pharmacist has neither the tools nor the right to probe details about rape and abuse, incest and health risks. Which is why pharmacists who interpose between decisions made by a doctor and her patient are overstepping not just moral but legal boundaries — and undermining another professional relationship that is fundamentally different from their own.

In the meanwhile, Wal-Mart is embroiled in a legal dispute over the smiley face image which it wants to trademark in the US. For the first time, the smiley face speaks!

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Hooman Hedayati

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