November 25, 2015

NEJMWe are pleased to announce the publication of an article in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that was authored by PSR Board Member (and current International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)Co-President Dr. Ira Helfand, and PSR co-founder Dr. Victor Sidel. The article, “Docs and Nukes – Still a Live Issue” (purchase or subscription required), offers a compelling perspective connecting the period of above-ground nuclear weapons testing that galvanized our founding in 1962, and ensuing events that have formed the basis of IPPNW and PSR’s continued leading role within the International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). As our esteemed colleagues point out through conveying the major points of our current campaign elaborating the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear War, it is an especially important time to engage our health professional base to add their voice to strongly support our program to eliminate nuclear weapons. With the recent support by the American Medical Association (AMA) and other mainstream physician organizations of this project, we have a unique opportunity to educate and mobilize our colleagues, and we hope this article will motivate you to join us in this effort to save our planet from the increasing dangers of nuclear annihilation.

The NEJM article was followed by another statement by Ira Helfand in the New York Times. In a letter to the editor, Dr. Helfand wrote about the extreme dangers of a nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan. Even if these countries used just a portion of their arsenal, Dr. Helfand warns of “worldwide climate disruption and a global famine that could put up to two billion people at risk.”

Just days later, PSR’s Security Director, Martin Fleck, was also featured in another New York Times letter to the editor. Responding to a recent article detailing a near-miss nuclear accident, he wrote of the risks of maintaining any nuclear weapons in our increasingly volatile international climate.

A Victory for Nuclear Disarmament!

These valuable statements were published just as the UN General Assembly’s First Committee voted to pass historic anti-nuclear weapons measures, as pushed for by ICAN over the opposition of the U.S. and other Nuclear Weapons States (NWS). The Committee passed four landmark resolutions confirming the humanitarian and ethical aspects of nuclear disarmament, as well as  establishing the legal structures that can facilitate the complete and permanent elimination of nuclear weapons. This victory is crucial wedge in our determined struggle for a world without nuclear weapons, and we count on your continued generous support to keep the work of PSR and ICAN on target.