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“The Last Epidemic: Medical Consequences of Nuclear War” shows and describes both the large megaton and “small” test bombs. Leading scientific and medical authorities describe the drastic damage in simple language. The video illustrates the concepts with stunning visuals showing the power of the “small” nuclear bombs blowing over freight trains and concrete buildings at the test sites in the Nevada desert, and the results of the “small” bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

The video is introduced by Peter G. Joseph, M.D., President of the San Francisco Chapter of the Physicians for Social Responsibility, followed by Howard H. Hiatt, M.D., D.Sc. Dean of Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Hiatt characterizes the nuclear arms race and its potentiality for Armageddon as “the last epidemic our civilization will know.”

Key Presentations

H. Jack Geiger, M.D., Arthur C. Logan Professor of Community Medicine, describes the effects of a one megaton explosion over San Francisco. He describes the instant vaporization of all people within 11 miles of the explosion, and the burns, crushing injuries, penetrating wounds, blindness and deafness that would reach far beyond that radius. Photographs of Hiroshima victims overlay his presentation. He ends by urging the audience to become politically active and work to prevent this possibility.

Kosta Tsipis, Ph.D, Assoc. Dir. of Program in Science and Technology for Intl. Security at MIT, describes in detail the effects of a 1 megaton explosion over New York state. He points out that the resulting fallout would seriously compromise the ozone later, leading to widespread blindness and death of animals and humans.

Gene R. LaRoque, Rear Admiral U.S. Navy (Retired), reports on the widespread use of nuclear arms on our navy ships, our air force, and in the army and how the nuclear weapons might be used.

Herbert Scoville, Jr. Ph.D., Former Deputy Director for Research, CIA, and Marvin Goldberger, Ph.D., President of California Institute of Technology emphasize the number of mistaken computer warnings of nuclear attack which have already occurred, and which almost started an all-out nuclear war.

Helen Caldicott , M.D., National President of Physicians for Social Responsiblity in 1981 describes this as the ultimate medical and religious issue of our time.

Documentary Footage

Documentary footage of the results of the attack on Hiroshima and nuclear tests in Nevada illustrate the points made by the conference presenters.

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