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Complainant Name:
Pharmacists’ Defence Association v Daily Star

Clauses Noted: 1, 12

Publication: Daily Star


The Pharmacists’ Defence Association complained that an article had inaccurately stated that a Muslim Pharmacist’s refusal to provide emergency contraception to a couple was “because of his religion”. The complainant said that the pharmacist had-as allowed by the pharmacists’ ethical Code – declined to provide the service on “personal and ethical” grounds and had directed them to an alternative pharmacy (despite receiving racist abuse from the man). There was no mention of religion during the exchange and the pharmacist did not indicate that he was a Muslim.


The complaint was resolved when the newspaper published the following correction:

On 23 May 2008, we reported that a Droylsden couple had been refused the morning-after pill in a branch of Sainsbury’s because of the pharmacist’s religious beliefs. We have been asked to point out that, while the pharmacist would have been entitled to have done that, in this case the refusal was made on moral, not religious, grounds.

Report: 78

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