[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 13 October 2006, 19:04 GMT 20:04 UK
Chemist refuses to dispense pill
Morning after pill
The mother said she was concerned teenage girls may be turned away
A Rotherham woman has complained after a Muslim pharmacist refused to give her the morning after pill because it was against his religious beliefs.

Mother-of-two Jo-Ann Thomas, of Thurcroft, said she was concerned teenage girls may be turned away from the branch of Lloyds Pharmacy.

In a statement, the company said it wanted to apologise to Ms Thomas.

But it said the pharmacist was acting within his rights under an industry code of ethics.

If I had not been able to get it and I had got pregnant, would an abortion have suited him better?
Jo-Ann Thomas

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain's code allows a pharmacist to refuse to sell or dispense drugs because of their religious or moral beliefs.

Ms Thomas was referred to her GP by the pharmacist who refused to sell her the pill.

She said: "If I had not been able to get it and I had got pregnant, would an abortion have suited him better?

"Everybody has their own beliefs and their own opinions and that is fine, but they are yours, you can't force them down someone's throat, it is not fair."

Dr John Radford, of Rotherham Primary Care Trust, said incidents such as this were rare.

He said: "The pharmacist, or any other health professional, has a duty to put the patient in touch with another practitioner.

"In this case the pharmacists put the patient in touch with her local surgery."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Watch Jo-Ann's story



SEE ALSO

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific