Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor.—In addition to the well-organized
and instructive perspectives presented in the article by Dr Kadlec and colleagues,1 I would like to add 1 more point regarding primary
prevention measures against biological weapons. This approach is exactly what
physicians and biomedical scientists would have to engage. In 1995, a terrorist
group in Japan, the Aum Shinrikyo cult, secretly produced biological weapons
such as anthrax spore and botulinum toxin.2
During World War II, Unit 731 in the Japanese Army was the classic and notorious
example of production of biological warfare agents and their wartime use.3 Both Aum Shinrikyo and Unit 731 included physicians
and microbiology experts. Considering that these individuals seemed to have
had an important role in the production of biological weapons, they had violated
the most basic bioethical principle, primum non nocere.
Tokuda Y. Physicians and Biological Warfare Agents. JAMA. 1998;279(4):273–274. doi:10.1001/jama.279.4.271
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