PORTLAND, November 9, 2001 ( – U.S. District Judge Robert Jones granted a temporary restraining order Thursday blocking Attorney General John Ashcroft’s directive which would effectively stop physician-assisted suicide in Oregon. The judge blocked the directive till November 20, at the request of Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers.

Under Ashcroft’s directive Oregon doctors who prescribe federally controlled drugs for assisted suicide and Oregon pharmacists who dispense the drugs for assisted suicide could have their DEA licenses to prescribe or dispense federally controlled substances revoked. Loss of a DEA license would make it difficult for most physicians to continue to practice medicine because they would no longer be able to prescribe virtually any kind of pain-killing medication.

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