View Full Version : Ethical Use of the Placebo Effect

April 14th, 2017, 11:26 PM
For those of you who don't know what a placebo is. Placebo is latin for "I Shall Please". When someone is expereinceing the placebo effect they miraculously get better due to thinking they are. This occurs due to the mind making a "Selffullfilling prophecy", in which the person gets better even if the person hasn't gotten the actual treatment. This, while mostly linked to mental problems such as Depression,anxiety, and so on. Can actually physically change a person's state. Such as helping deal with Asthma,vasuclar hypertension, swelling,etc. The problem with this is, the fact you're lying to the people, and if the truth comes out, then it won't work. Their is also the occurance of the nocebo effect, in which case the person's health deteriorates. This usually occurs when doctors tell you of side effects you might experience, or giving you a life expectancy, telling you you have an lifelong disease, etc. Essentially the problem is, is that you need to be ignorant in order for it to work(placebo), or not occur(nocebo). So, should the placebo effect be allowed to be used, for the benifit of people? Or should it not be allowed to be used, despite the benifits?

May 22nd, 2017, 06:55 PM
my understanding (and i'm probably off) was that for the most part the placebo is usually given under close supervision to help determine if a medication is actually working or if your mind just thinks its working

or a placebo will also be used when doing a test of a medication: everyone gets a pill, everyone knows their pill may be the medication or may be the placebo but no one knows until after the trial is done

May 22nd, 2017, 10:01 PM
Dmaxd123 Yes,that usually is it's extent. It's used to see if the real thing is better than a fake. What I'm talking about is about stuff that can change lives, yet occurs due to a placebo.

For example, a person is given treaatment to correct their vision, in raelity it's only a laaser being shown in their eye, yet, for some reason, it works. Can it be considered ethical to lie to people, if that lie can in turn cause the body to create change itself.

May 23rd, 2017, 05:37 AM
i think as long as the prescribing Dr then is willing to preform the actual corrective procedure if the placebo doesn't take then it's acceptable in the case of an eye where it isn't a life threatening thing.

give the body/mind a chance to heal first, then if it doesn't take care step up with the actual non-placebo procedure

June 11th, 2017, 10:51 AM
You don't even need to lie to the patients in some cases: http://theconversation.com/placebos-work-even-when-patients-know-what-they-are-77074

June 12th, 2017, 11:01 PM
Did not know that ^.^, guess it makes sense though. If the mind i given a positive or negative, whichever one the mind chooses the body will follow-in most cases-.

June 30th, 2017, 03:01 AM
Placebos seem to be quite useful, so I don't see any reason not to use them.

July 1st, 2017, 05:59 AM
I have mixed feelings, I like doctors doing all they can to help patients but I also like patients knowing exactly what is happening to them!! So I would have to go with no placebos!! :)

July 1st, 2017, 01:53 PM
Well it can depend. obviously if a condition needs a certain type of medicine, then no, a placebo would not be appropriate. however, there have been so many different psychological studies on the effects the human mind/body can have and in some circumstances, the placebo helps work. the placebo itself is usually a simple sugar pill or something like that. something that isn't going to hurt to take it.

I guess I am fine with it. obviously, if it is a simple sugar pill or something similar, I do not think the person taking it should have to pay much for it. two, it is something which needs to be very closely monitored. If it is not working, it needs to be determined sooner rather than later.