In describing nurses’ duties in identifying victims of Arab terrorist attacks, Liebergall et al1 mention the resulting stress on those nurses. Aside from describing the work itself, which of course is implicitly stressful, the authors modestly omit further discussion of why identifying victims of terrorism might differ from identifying patients in some other war situation.

Perhaps one reason is that the work may be more challenging. Soldiers wounded or killed in a war have dog tags that are relatively resilient to attack. The identification cards that civilians routinely carry are more commonly destroyed, along with the lives and limbs of the victims. Under these circumstances, the process of victim identification in the Liebergall et al study is surprising for its speed. Sometimes, as shown in the Israeli documentary film No. 17 Is Anonymous, the work can take months.2 

Safety while on duty is a unique issue for Israeli...

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