Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations Yankee Doodling

How to react to the Orlando massacre?

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 14 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3322
  1. Douglas Kamerow, senior scholar, Robert Graham Center for policy studies in primary care, professor of family medicine at Georgetown University, and associate editor, The BMJ
  1. dkamerow{at}

Harm reduction may have something to offer

In the aftermath of the awful killings at an Orlando gay nightclub early on the morning of 12 June, we are numbed and left searching for answers. Who did it? Why? What could have been done to prevent the massacre? How can we protect “soft” targets like nightclubs (and schools, offices, and shops) from future attacks?

This was clearly a hate crime in addition to a terrorist act. Omar Mir Seddique Mateen had contacted other gay nightclubs as he methodically planned his attack. He called police directly from the nightclub to pledge his support to the Islamic State organization (ISIS), known for its antipathy to gay people in particular as well as …

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