Monday, December 11, 2017

Pharmacists Testimonies

Patrick McCrystal Testimony

'I was not a man with clean hands'

                                                            Patrick McCrystal BSc (Pharmacy) Q.U.B.

My name is Patrick McCrystal and I graduated in pharmacy from Queens University, Belfast, in 1987. For six patrickMcCrystalphoto6years, I worked in various capacities in N. Ireland as a full-time pharmacist, locum pharmacist, in hospital and clinical research. I had made the decision not to dispense the so-called "morning after" pill because of its abortifacient nature. This was a decision that most employers were willing to facilitate.  

Then in May 1993, I started a job in a small pharmacy outside Belfast where I found myself, for the first time, faced with the decision to dispense it or else leave my post.

This threw me into a real dilemma because I knew, from my pharmacist training, that ALL contraceptive pills caused early abortions and if I was to give up my job for one pill I had to give up my job for them all.

This action of the pill causing early abortion is one that not everyone realises. Over the next two months I consulted with a wide range of people: professional, pastoral and lay.  Here I was, a healthcare professional standing to promote health and prolong life on one hand while handing out pills that terminated human life on the other. I knew it didn’t add up.  Deep down in my heart I was having an enormous struggle of conscience.

Then I was told about Pharmacist For Life International (PFLI) a world-wide network of pharmacists who defend and promote the integrity of all human life, from fertilisation to natural death. It was an enormous relief to realise that somewhere in the world there were pharmacists who were thinking the same way. PFLI asked me to be their Northern Ireland co-ordinator which sounded good, even though I was the only one to co-ordinate!

I was praying hard asking God what I should do. Then one day I received two verses of scripture that changed my life:

 "I have set before you life and death, blessing or curse. Choose life, that you and your descendants may live,"         Deut. 30:19

and "Who is the man who ascends the mountain of the Lord? He who has clean hands and a pure heart and desires not worthless things."   Ps. 24:3-4

I knew as I handed over those pills I was not a man with clean hands. I also knew that by dispensing these drugs, I was somehow interfacing with “death” and “curse”.  So in September 1993, I handed in my notice to the great surprise of my employers because we had got on so well.

That started my applying for jobs over the entire island of Ireland, north and south. Even though a pharmacist in my position could dispense 98% of a day's prescriptions virtually no-one was willing to employ me. I felt it only fair to mention my views at the time of interview and, when the subject came up, I heard every argument and reason used to justify why I should dispense these products.  But I knew in my heart I wasn’t to do so.  I researched and wrote an article addressed to my pharmacist professional peers on the ethical dilemma of dispensing abortifacient drugs, published in Chemist and Druggist 1995.  Having spent hundred of hours in the medical libraries and sifting through the clinical literature, I discovered what I always suspected - ALL the contraceptive pills and drugs were abortifacient. They all possessed an intrinsic mechanism which caused early abortion of  human embryos just after fertilisation.

The articles publication caused quite a reaction in the profession and I received letters and telephone calls from pharmacists all over the country. I was invited to debate the issue at the Scottish Pharmacists annual conference, a motion I won.

The, one month later Pope John Paul II, in an address to Catholic Italian Pharmacists, made a clinching statement:

"One cannot accept being party to attacks on life or on procreation."

This affirmed that I had done the right thing. The following month saw the publication of Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul's encyclical The Gospel of Life.

This truly masterful document calls all Christians and all people of goodwill to be people of Life and Light. The encyclical clearly outlines the challenge and responsibility of all to revere, respect and defend the dignity and sacredness of all human life, from fertilisation to natural death.  It analyses the roots of the "Culture of death" in all its forms abortion, euthanasia, contraception, embryo research, in vitro fertilisation, population control and others. It expressly addresses healthcare professionals.

In June, 1995, I was invited to speak at a conference in Dublin on contraceptive drugs being abortifacient and the ethical and moral implications for pill users and healthcare professionals in light of Evangelium Vitae. This was well received and I was thereafter invited to a number of venues in Ireland and England. The fact that tiny human life is being destroyed just after fertilisation during contraceptive usage is not known to most. From a Christian standpoint, since new life begins at fertilisation, the concept of a soul and a guardian angel from the very first instant of existence are real considerations. Even the probability of  human embryos being lost during contraceptive usage has profound implications for women using these drugs.

Women's anger - By now I was receiving a growing number of requests to speak to women's groups, school groups and so on.

In my experience women's most common reaction when they discover the abortive nature of 'the pill' is one of anger.

"Why has no-one told us this before...?" was a common reaction.

In 1996 I wrote my first book Contraception and Evangelium Vitae, highlighting the abortifacient nature of the contraceptive pills and products.  Then in 1997, I was offered the job as Executive Director of Human Life International (Ireland), a Catholic pro-life educational charity based in Republic of Ireland.  In 2009, I published my second book: “Who’s at the Centre of Your marriage…The Pill or Jesus Christ. – Contraception’s Disintegrating effect on Marital harmony”.  This attracted major national and international media attention and the book has gone around the world.

Patrick McCrystal