Wisconsin "Conscience Protection Act" To Get Vote

A proposal that's called the "Conscience Protection Act" has had its first legislative hearing in Madison and could be scheduled for a vote in coming weeks in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

It's designed to protect doctors and other medical personnel from taking part in procedures that go against their beliefs -- such as abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia and the use of body parts from aborted fetuses.

Backers of the bill contend it recognizes that medical personnel have religious and moral convictions that should be honored. Opponents say it would allow doctors to base their decisions on those beliefs instead of what's best for the patient.

Governor Jim Doyle vetoed a less-sweeping version of the bill last year. He says it would have let physicians ignore details of a living will.