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December 6, 1985

The Medical Response to Nuclear War

Author Affiliations

Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Tucson

JAMA. 1985;254(21):3031-3032. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360210045008

To the Editor.—  Most of the Aug 2, 1985, issue of JAMA served as a sounding board for Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), and it would be impossible to respond adequately in a letter. However, I would at least like to correct the record with respect to the views of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP).Day and Waitzkin1 state that "spokespersons for DDP have argued for a continuing nuclear arms buildup." No references are cited for this assertion, and indeed there are none to be found. Doctors for Disaster Preparedness does not take a stand on armament proposals, only on medical preparedness.As an individual, I have argued for reducing the effective size of the Soviet arsenal by means of active defenses.2 To call this form of prevention a "nuclear arms buildup" would be an Orwellian inversion. Because greater survivability would diminish the number of American warheads needed