Throughout the globe, healthcare providers are increasingly challenged with the specter of terrorism and the fallout from weapons of mass destruction. Preparing for and responding to such manmade emergencies, however, threatens the ethical underpinnings of routine, individualized, patient-centered, emergency healthcare. The exigency of a critical incident can instantly transform resource rich environs, to those of austerity. Healthcare workers, who only moments earlier may have been seeing two to three patients per hour, are instantly thrust into a sea of casualties and more basic lifeboat issues of quarantine, system overload and the thornier determinations of who will be given every chance to live and who will be allowed to die. Beyond the tribulations of triage, surge capacity, and the allocation of scarce resources, terrorism creates a parallel need for a host of virtues not commonly required in daily medical practice, including prudence, courage, justice, stewardship, vigilance, resilience, and charity. As a polyvalent counterpoint to the vices of apathy, cowardice, profligacy, recklessness, inflexibility, and narcissism, the virtues empower providers at all levels to vertically integrate principles of safety, public health, utility, and medical ethics at the micro, meso, and macro levels. Over time, virtuous behavior can be modeled, mentored, practiced, and institutionalized to become one of our more useful vaccines against the threat of terrorism in the new millennium.