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June 12, 1996

Preparing for Medical Consequences of Terrorism

JAMA. 1996;275(22):1713-1714. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530460017008

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"THE USE OF violence or the threat of violence in furtherance of a political or social agenda" is the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) definition of terrorism. Because such actions have increased in lethality if not in number in the United States, a group of concerned medical, military, and government experts led by Susan Briggs, MD, organized The First Harvard Symposium on Medical Consequences of Terrorism.

Opening the conference in Boston, Mass, on April 24, the day President Bill Clinton signed into law a strong counterterrorism bill, Briggs, who is associate chief of the Trauma Service at Massachusetts General Hospital and national supervising medical officer of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Medical Specialty Teams, said, "One impetus for this conference was to try to pull together those who are concerned with the threat of terrorism and those who are concerned with the consequences. Only by interacting in advance can