Christians in Pharmacy - GPhC Guidance Document following Recent Consultation on Religion and Ethics in Phamacy 

CiP pills 5You will remember that, following our campaign to protect the rights of Christian pharmacists and technicians to practice our profession in line with our conscience, we asked you to continue to pray that the guidance document that sets out how the new professional standards should be interpreted would take into account the points that we raised in our consultation submission.  We are very happy to be able to report that our prayers have been answered and that the recently published guidance document, although not perfect, does represent a considerable rebalancing towards the rights of pharmacy professionals of faith to practice their profession in line with that faith. Of course there is still a considerable emphasis on ensuring that person centred care is not compromised, but as caring professionals we would want to ensure that anyway!

Your leadership team would like to thank you for your support throughout this process and also to thank colleagues in several other Christian organisations (in particular our friends in the Christian Institute, Christian Concern, CARE, CMF) for their help in lobbying the GPhC .

This outcome shows the value of Christian pharmacists standing together to promote godly values in our profession.  If you know other Christian pharmacists please encourage them to join us so that together we can make an even greater impact.

The full guidance is available from this link
https://www.pharmacyregulation.org/news/gphc-council-approves-guidance-religion-personal-values-and-beliefs
It is pleasing to see several aspects of the guidance that reflect aspects of our submission to the consultation.  In particular:

  • the GPhC says that it recognises and respects the “central” and “positive” role of religion in the lives of pharmacy professionals and agrees to protect the rights of pharmacists to refer clients to other professionals.
  • The guidance shows respect for people of faith and by doing so should more or less maintain the status quo in practice for pharmacists and their customers.
  • The new guidance expressly refers to the human rights of pharmacists and acknowledges religion or belief as an important factor to be taken into account in decision-making.
  • It also specifically allows for the idea of referral to another pharmacist where there is a conscience issue.
  • The guidance specifically addresses the responsibilities of employers to create an environment where person centred care can be practiced and deals with their responsibility not to discriminate against pharmacy professionals on the grounds of religion or personal belief.