Wis. governor vetoes allowing health workers to opt out of more procedures for moral reasons | VailDaily.com

Wis. governor vetoes allowing health workers to opt out of more procedures for moral reasons

Daily Staff Report

Associated PressMADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin’s governor vetoed a bill Friday that would have allowed health care workers to opt out of a half-dozen procedures, including withdrawing a person’s feeding tube and using embryonic stem cells, on religious or moral grounds.The “conscience clause” also would have protected medical workers against punishment from their bosses or state regulators if they refused to refer people elsewhere to get the procedures.”Because it puts a doctor’s political views ahead of the best interests of patients, this legislation ought to be called the ‘unconscionable clause,”‘ Gov. Jim Doyle said in a statement. “It is a disservice to patients and to our health care system.”Doyle, a Democrat, vetoed a similar bill in 2004.Wisconsin Right to Life, a group that opposes legalized abortions, pushed this latest measure.Under current state law, medical workers already can opt out of abortions and sterilization procedures on moral or religious grounds without fear of reprisal from their employers or state examining boards and licensing agencies.The bill laid out six more procedures medical workers could refuse for ethical objections: destroying embryos or using cells from destroyed embryos; procedures on an embryo that won’t benefit it; procedures involving a child growing in an artificial womb that don’t help the child; procedures, such as transplants, that use fetal organs; pulling a feeding tube from a person who isn’t terminally ill; and assisting in a suicide.Wisconsin Right to Life legislative director Susan Armacost said the veto would make life tougher for medical workers.”They feel it’s very necessary,” she said. “The whole atmosphere is not very amenable to people who don’t want to kill their patients.”—On the Net:Gov. Jim Doyle: http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/Wisconsin Right to Life: http://www.wrtl.org/Vail, Colorado

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