CHRISTINE CASSEL, M. D.; ANDREW JAMETON, Ph.D.
The attention of physicians is being drawn to the issue of nuclear weapons and nuclear war, creating controversy about whether a political concern is appropriate for health care professionals. The use of nuclear weapons would incur human death and injury on a scale both unprecedented and unimaginable, and possibly damage the ecosphere far beyond the weapons' immediate effects. Medical supplies and facilities would be nonexistent; no meaningful medical response would be possible. A physician's responsibility to prevent nuclear war is based on the imperative to prevent a devastating incurable disease that cannot be treated. Such an imperative is consistent with the historic tradition of the social responsibility of health professionals, and can be justified by philosophical argument.
CASSEL C, JAMETON A. Medical Responsibility and Thermonuclear War. Ann Intern Med. 1982;97:426–432. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-97-3-426
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1982;97(3):426-432.
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