Sunday, September 23, 2012

Illinois Appeals Court Issues Narrow Injunction Protecting Pharmacists' Conscience Rights

In Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Quinn, (IL App., Sept. 20, 2012), an Illinois appellate court narrowed the scope of an injunction that had been issued by a trial court preventing enforcement of an Illinois State Pharmacy Board rule requiring pharmacies to dispense Plan B and other forms of emergency contraception. (See prior posting.) Avoiding the constitutional issues, the appellate court held that Illinois' Health Care Right of Conscience Act applies to pharmacists and pharmacies and protects plaintiffs' decisions not to dispense emergency contraceptives due to their conscience beliefs. However the trial court's injunction barring enforcement of the rule even against non-objecting pharmacies was held to be overly broad. The appellate court concluded: "We modify the injunction so it enjoins defendants from enforcing the Current Rule against these plaintiffs, who have conscience-based objections to the Current Rule." The Chicago Tribune reports on the decision.