Thursday, September 18, 2008

From Reality Sandwich: Fear Itself

Bill Machon

Thanks to the work of the website Wikileaks, it has been revealed that in 2006 the US government issued a secret warning to hospitals across the country that they could become overwhelmed with patients suffering from psychosomatic symptoms of illness. In the event of a terrorist attack, or even in the event of false news reports of an attack, a mass outbreak of fear could cause hospitals to be swarmed with patients believing that they have been affected, even if they have not been. Such a scenario could cause confusion and create serious problems if there is indeed a real attack, and patients seeking legitimate care become lost in the shuffle. The study cites several real incidents where situations like this actually occurred in Chechnya, Japan, and California.

Fear of Terrorist Attack Could Trigger Mass Psychogenic Illness (PDF)

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