JUDGE EXTENDS BLOCK OF ATTORNEY GENERAL’S MOVE AGAINST OREGON ASSISTED SUICIDE A federal judge extended a court order Tuesday that blocks an attempt by Attorney General John Ashcroft to dismantle Oregon’s one-of-a-kind law allowing physician-assisted suicides. U.S. District Judge Robert Jones extended his Nov. 8 temporary restraining order and gave the state and the Justice Department up to five months to prepare their arguments. The judge stressed that his order “nullifies giving any legal effect’’ to Ashcroft’s directive—in other words, doctors should not fear legal repercussions if they follow the Oregon law.

COURT UPHOLDS KEVORKIAN CONVICTION The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the murder conviction of assisted suicide proponent Jack Kevorkian in the death of a 52-year-old man that was shown on television. The decision, handed down Tuesday and announced Wednesday, said finding euthanasia legal would be a first step down a “slippery slope.”