Doctors and relatives will continue to help terminally ill people commit suicide despite a court order blocking Oregon's assisted suicide law, a leading backer says.

"It's a very common thing. Only two rules apply right now - keep it a secret and die alone so that your family members aren't implicated," said Barbara Coombs Lee, a chief sponsor of Oregon's law, the first of its kind in the nation.On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan issued a preliminary injunction preventing the law from taking effect until a court can decide if it is constitutional.

Measure 16, approved by voters 51 percent to 49 percent in November, allows a person to request a lethal dose of drugs if at least two doctors determine the patient has less than six months to live.

Hogan did not set a trial date, but said he hoped to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. The Oregon attorney general's office, which supports the law, said it could be a year before the issue is resolved.

James Bopp, the National Right to Life attorney who sued to block the law, said there are serious concerns about people committing suicide because of depression or undue influence.

The lawsuit also claims the law will encourage physicians to recommend suicides for patients who can't pay, and will force nursing-home owners to allow assisted suicides even if they object on religious grounds.