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The Morning-After Pill

Dear Jack,

I was quite surprised to receive your email yesterday. Thank you for sharing your situation with me. The challenge you are facing is difficult and I deeply appreciate your courage.

You must have been with your pharmaceutical firm for over two years. I still remember your visits to my clinic, updating me on the new anti- hypertensive products from your firm. You are always very knowledgeable about the products promoted. Sometimes you may find it difficult to express yourself in English but your smile and enthusiasm more than compensate for your shortcoming.

Recently your company has been asked to help promoting the new oral contraceptive known as "the morning-after pill". It is supposed to prevent pregnancy by interfering the implantation of the fertilized ovum. Here lies the dilemma. If we believe the life begins with the fertilization of the ovum, then this pill essentially destroys that life in utero by causing an abortion.

Your email clearly states that such is your understanding of the mystery of life and you do not feel right to participate in promoting this controversial drug. My response to you is: "Bravo!" I wish more people would dare to take a firm stand according to their conscience. Daniel in the Old Testament provided a challenging example of sticking to his life principles by refusing to compromise under pressure. God did not let him down. G. K. Chesterton once said, "Christianity has not so much been tried and found wanting, as it has been found difficult and left untried". How true! It does take a strong spine to go against the tide.

Some weeks ago, I bought a book on business ethics by Alexander Hill, who teaches in the school of business and economics at Seattle Pacific University. It is titled Just Business-Christian ethics for the marketplace, published by the Inter Varsity Press in 1997. In it, he spends several chapters to expound the important triad of holiness, justice and love and the application of these principles in business ethics. These are , of course, God's own characteristics. Being holy includes acting with integrity, which is what you are doing.

The most common trap for Christians in the business world, I think, is to have a dual morality. It is very convenient to have one set of moral principles for our personal life and a totally different set for the professional or business life. This will split our personality, causing us to lead a schizophrenic life. You must be congratulated to see the folly of such an approach.

As you will soon find out, taking a firm stand may cost heavy financial loss or even your job. You are prudent to start looking for other employment opportunities. I would be more than happy to provide character reference on your behalf to any pharmaceutical company, as you have requested in the email.

By standing up to the challenge, you have provided a fresh breeze in this morally suffocating society. Thank you!

Clement, your friend

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