Intended for healthcare professionals


Open letter to Tony Blair: Call to prevent escalating violence

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 25 January 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:220
  1. Carolyn Stephens (, senior lecturer in environment and health policy, department of public health and policy
  1. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT

    EDITOR—Three important reports have been published in the past month on the humanitarian impacts of international violence and conflict.13 All provide evidence of the short and long term adverse health impacts of the use of force internationally. The World Health Organization's World Report on Violence and Health is a detailed assessment compiled over three years by international health scientists.1 Collateral Damage: The Health and Environmental Costs of War on Iraq is a report of a study by Medact, a UK charity of nurses, doctors, and other health professionals.2 The latest report released by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq (CASI) based at Cambridge University, is a UN report on likely humanitarian scenarios of war on Iraq.3

    Medact estimates that if the threatened war on Iraq ensues, “total possible deaths on all sides during conflict and in the following three months will range from 48 000 to over 260 000. Civil war within Iraq could add another 20 000 …

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