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December 1, 1962

MDs Should Cultivate 'Split Personality' In Case of Attack

JAMA. 1962;182(9):29-30. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050480093038

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A split personality regarding nuclear war was recommended for America's physicians at the 13th County Medical Societies Conference on Disaster Medical Care last month in Chicago.

"Each of us, in effect, is a dual personality," said Dr. George V. LeRoy, of Chicago. "As citizens we may work for nuclear disarmament, we may support a so-called sane nuclear policy, we may fear and abhor the idea of nuclear warfare, and we may approve or disapprove the policies of our government. As physicians, on the other hand—regardless of our political opinions—we must be ready to care for the victims of a nuclear war."

Dr. James R. McCarroll, of New York City, told the conference that "the essential feature in providing emergency care to large numbers of persons simultaneously under mass disaster conditions rests in sorting patients into priority categories for treatment and then in applying relatively simple standardized treatment procedures which may