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April 5, 1985

Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear War: A Source Book for Health Professionals

Author Affiliations

Tufts University School of Medicine Boston

JAMA. 1985;253(13):1938. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350370134043

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The editors of this collection of essays by various authors are prominent leaders in Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR). During the past five years, PSR has built a network of 30,000 doctors, nurses, and committed laymen who have raised a collective voice against what often seems to be an open-ended nuclear arms race. Physicians for Social Responsibility also provides an educational service by instructing the public on the medical consequences of nuclear war. The organization has been instrumental in convincing many that nuclear war cannot be "limited" and would result in "the final epidemic."

Because focusing on the cataclysmic medical consequences of nuclear war can produce what psychiatrists call "psychic numbing," PSR has needed to blend an appeal to the emotions with calmly reasoned arguments against the nuclear arms race. While doing, so, these physicians have found it necessary to become conversant with the facts and figures, not only on