Promote health, not nuclear weapons: ethical duty of medical professionals

Arun Mitra

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2018.020


Despite ongoing tensions in various parts of the world, the year 2017 ended on a positive note. The Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was passed by the UN General Assembly on July 7, 2017, which will always be a red-letter day in history. It has raised many hopes for a future world without nuclear weapons and staved off the impending humanitarian catastrophe. Good health is a basic need of every individual. Therefore, each person yearns for a life free of violence and free of man-made catastrophes like the ones at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, which killed over two hundred thousand people and resulted in genetic mutations affecting generations thereafter. Unfortunately, instead of working for nuclear disarmament, the world moved towards an unending nuclear arms race, costing billions which could have been used for healing millions of people living in despair and sickness. This is why on December 10, 2017, Oslo, the capital of Norway, was filled with excitement when the Nobel Peace Prize for this year was bestowed upon the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Large numbers of medical professionals from around the globe had gathered there to affirm their commitment to a healthy future through diversion of wasteful expenditure from the nuclear arms race towards universal health.

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