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August 6, 1997

Physician Group Declares War on Land Mine Injuries

JAMA. 1997;278(5):375-376. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550050035010

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PHYSICIANS Against Land Mines (PALM)—a not-for-profit organization of health care professionals and other self-defined "people of conscience"—is establishing a center for the prevention and treatment of land-mine injuries.

Land mines are deployed in more than 60 countries around the world, according to a PALM spokesperson. Each year at least 1 million additional land mines are sown, and each year another 25 000 men, women, and children are killed or maimed by these devices.

"We urgently need an immediate and comprehensive ban on these weapons and expanded access to treatment," said William Kennedy Smith, MD, president of the Chicago-based organization and a staff physician at the Veterans Administration Chicago Health Care System Lakeside Division, in a recent interview. "The United States should be the first country to respond [to the problem]." To advance the medical care of land mine survivors, PALM will work with international experts in cooperation with 2 other Chicago-based