The state Assembly has passed a bill that would allow health care workers to refuse to do things such as participating in stem cell research or withdrawing a feeding tube if they feel it violates their religion. Under the Republican bill, they also could not be punished for refusing to refer a patient elsewhere for things they refuse to do.
The bill was passed Tuesday night.
Health care workers already can opt out of abortions and sterilization procedures on moral or religious grounds without fear of reprisal from their employers under current law.
The bill would expand the protection to include a half-dozen other medical procedures.
The bill passed 60-to-33 and goes to the state Senate.
But Governor Jim Doyle's spokeswoman Melanie Fonder says he will never sign the bill.
He's said repeatedly he won't sign any bill that prevents patients from getting care or access to medication.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)