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  Ashcroft to Pursue Suicide Doctors

By Katherine Pfleger
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2001; 2:27 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON –– Attorney General John Ashcroft gave federal drug agents the go-ahead Tuesday to take action against doctors who help terminally ill patients die, a move aimed at undercutting Oregon's unique assisted-suicide law.

The decision, outlined in a letter to Drug Enforcement Administration chief Asa Hutchinson, would allow the revocation of drug licenses of doctors who participate in an assisted suicide using a federally controlled substance.

Ashcroft's letter reverses a June 1998 order by his predecessor, Janet Reno, who barred agents from moving against doctors who used Oregon's law.

© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press

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