Pharmacists of Conscience: Ethical Decision-Making Across Legal, Political, and Organizational Environments


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This study examines how institutional scripts and individual identities influence professional ethical decision-making within and across institutional environments. Focusing on the Emergency Contraception (EC) conflict in pharmacies, this dissertation considers how legal, organizational, political, and professional factors interact with salient identities to influence pharmacists’ accounts of dispensation. Data consist of interviews and surveys of pharmacists in four states with different laws, a liberal and conservative county in each state, and hospital and retail pharmacies in each county. Initial findings suggest that identification of ethical issues varies by work setting and that pharmacists who oppose EC reconcile ethical challenges by separating professional duties and personal beliefs.