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November 5, 2003

Definitions of Terrorism

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(17):2254. doi:10.1001/jama.290.17.2254-a

In Reply: In reply to Dr Lipton and colleagues, we agree that terrorism may be a biased concept for politicians, political analysts, and historians. It is not so for those who experience it firsthand. Unfortunately, terrorism is usually a legitimate cause for some, and a curse for others. This does not make it less dreadful for those who live with its consequences and clearly does not make it an unscientific subject of study. On the contrary, we feel that there is a moral obligation to give voice to all casualties, whomever they may be. To deny the right to study a phenomenon on the grounds of its being politically prejudicial to one side is neither sound science nor adequate medicine.

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