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August 5, 1998

An Appeal for Nuclear SanityAn Open Letter to:
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee of India
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan

Author Affiliations

From the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass (Dr Lown); Cardiology Research Center, Moscow, Russia (Dr Chazov); Emory University, Atlanta, Ga (Dr Foege); Pakistan Medical Association, Peshawar (Dr Ul-Majeed); and Indian Medical Association, New Delhi (Dr Reddy). Drs Lown and Chazov were recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 on behalf of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which they cofounded. Dr Foege is the executive director for the Task Force for Child Survival and Development, Atlanta.

JAMA. 1998;280(5):467-468. doi:10.1001/jama.280.5.467

We send this appeal based on long experience in struggling for peace and nuclear sanity in order to sustain life and promote health.

A nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan would be an unmitigated catastrophe, not only for the people of India and Pakistan but for all humankind. No society can survive even a modest nuclear attack. No civil defense preparation can mitigate the dreadful consequences. An overwhelmed health care system could not cope with the massive numbers of casualties seeking help. The fatally injured would die in the solitude of their unrelieved agony.

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