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MARCH 20, 2003
11:29 AM
CONTACT:  Physicians for Social Responsibility
Bill Durston, MD 916.638.0126
Harry Wang, MD 916.733.5077
Nathan Fairman,   916.452.5744

Physicians for Social Responsibility:  End War Now, Stop Humanitarian Catastrophe
SACRAMENTO, CA - March 20 - Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), a national organization of health care professionals and concerned citizens, strongly opposes the United States preemptive war on Iraq.

"President Bush has not provided sufficient justification for this war, " said Sacramento PSR member and Vietnam Veteran William Durston, MD. "As doctors, we have devoted our life's work to promoting human health. We live by the creed 'First, do no harm,' and we believe simply that a war on Iraq will do more harm than good. There are better prescriptions for American security than to invade Iraq now" states Dr. Durston.

PSR members are concerned about the health and welfare of U.S. troops in the Middle East. Over 160,000 Gulf War veterans currently receive disability payments, many of whom report chronic illness for unclear reasons. If Saddam Hussein does have biological and chemical weapons, attacking Iraq invites him to use these agents on U.S. soldiers.

"And what about the civilians of Iraq, half of whom are children?" asks member Harry Wang, MD. "It is expected that there will be tens of thousands of Iraqi combatant and civilian deaths. 16 million Iraqi civilians are 100% dependent on food rations. The oil-for-food program has already stopped. We can expect food shortages, malnutrition, and starvation of civilians," says Dr. Wang.

PSR has a 40-year tradition of speaking out against the dangers of nuclear war. In 1985, it shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. PSR has demanded that President Bush publicly commit to a "no first use" policy on nuclear weapons.

Sacramento Area PSR members have actively participated in recent local and Bay area anti-war protests and plan to join the Regional Peace March in Sacramento on March 23. "We must stop this war now," says member Nathan Fairman, "and end the humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq."


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