Conversations With Dr. Bernard Lown

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0:00 Color bars.

1:10 Opening titles. “I’m sure you shouldn’t politicize medicine, but I’m not sure you shouldn’t medicalize politics.” Produced by Raoul Zaritsky and Martha Sonnenberg. Directed and Edited by Raoul Zaritsky.

1:56 Dr. Bernard Lown talks about the nuclear threat and its place in medicine. He says the nuclear bomb is clearly a medical issue. He gives two reasons: first, that doctors have a responsibility to act out against issues to which they can not give any medical help; second, that resources are not being directed towards discovering potential solutions or consequences.

4:00 IPP NW receives the Nobel Peace Prize, accepted in part by Dr. Bernard Lown, along with co-founder E. Chazov, a Soviet physician.

5:00 December 9, 1985. Lown and Chazov speak at the Nobel press conference. He talks about recieving one awful question after another. A Russian correspondent passes out, and Lown and Chazov try to resucitate the man. He talks to the press about how the act of resucitation is a fitting metaphor for the international community of physicians. The press correspondent survived.

8:42 Lown works as a cardiologist with other doctors at the hospital. Lown talks about developing the defibrillator, lidocaine, and other medical advances. He talks about moving away from his studies in psychology because all of his fellow students were “closet theologians” preaching “medieval scholasticism.” He discusses his discovery of neuro-physiological triggers for cardiac problems.

12:30 “The Story of the Physicians’ Movement.” Lown discusses the importance Dr. Victor Sidel and Dr. Jack Geiger in the development of the Physicians’ Movement. Lown discusses the 1962 article Sidel, Geiger, and Lown helped publish about the real effects of a nuclear attack, simulate d on the city of Boston. The results: medical help would be impossible. The solution: “When a doctor can’t cure, he must work very hard to prevent.” Lown talks about the beginning of his collaboration with Chazov.

19:30 Growth of IPPNW. Airlie House, 1981. Lown talks about having very few fund s. By the 1987 Congress in Moscow, 2,000 members participating. By 1988, more than 200,000 members participated. Lown talks about his pride in the participation of third-world countries, whose conditions already reflect a bombed-out society. Lown talks about reaching skeptics with statistics about t he costs of medical care.

23:40 “On Arms Control.” Lown discusses the INF Agreement, which he says creates “a psychological framework of expectations. And if we can agree with the Soviets on one thing, we can agree with them on many more things.” Lown says the first step, an absolute necessity, is the cessation of nuclear testing. Clip of June 2, 1987, when the IPPNW met with Gorbachev; Lown talks about how positively the meeting went. “If you aim for the impossible, the miraculous follows close behind.”

29:28 End credits.

30:31 End of tape.



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