Dr Sara Fovargue is co-investigator on this project with Dr Mary Neal from the University of Strathclyde being the principal investigator. The project has been awarded £9396.50.
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) recently approved changes to its Standards of Conduct, Ethics and Performance and its supporting Guidance on Religion, Personal Values and Belief. The changes alter expectations on pharmacists whose personal beliefs conflict with elements of their professional roles, significantly shifting the balance in favour of the interests of those who use pharmacy services. Simultaneously, changes are being proposed and debated which would involve pharmacists in increasingly controversial practices: for example, ongoing efforts to legalise assisted dying and proposals for 'abortion on prescription'. As a pilot for a larger study exploring the normative authority of professional ethics guidance, we will interview pharmacists working around the UK, exploring their engagement with professional ethics guidance generally, their perceptions of the new GPhC Standards, and their wider reflections about balancing personal values with professional expectations, against the background of the debates on abortion and assisted dying.