[Skip to Navigation]
Medical News & Perspectives
April 18, 2017

Medical Community Gathers Steam to Tackle Climate’s Health Effects

JAMA. 2017;317(15):1511-1513. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.0969

Nearly 30 years ago, Alexander Leaf, MD, drew a bold analogy. Changes brewing in climate and the environment, he wrote, may be just as harmful to human health as nuclear war.

Leaf, the former chief of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, acknowledged in a 1989 New England Journal of Medicine essay that climate change wasn’t in most physicians’ purview. Even so, he advised clinicians that dealing with the related health threats “becomes our special burden.”