Essay On Placebo

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The placebo has long been in effect since the beginning of medicine. It is defined as a stimulus that is capable of ameliorating one’s feeling without any therapeutic value. In its simplest form, the placebo is a sugar pill used in hope to induce some sort of positive reaction from patients by exploiting their expectations and beliefs. As time passes, the use of placebo in clinical practices has expanded to a variety of procedures, ranging from surgeries to analgesic drugs. In addition, commercial companies also use it to improve consumer’s experience. While some believe and argue that all placebos involve deception and a breach of contract — and therefore the use is unethical — it is important to acknowledge the effectiveness of a placebo.…show more content…
This would encourage a placebo response even when the doctor is prescribing a real medicine. A study conducted by the medical researchers from the University of Cincinnati shows that the “patients’ expectations have an important role in the efficacy of medical therapies” (latimes.com). It is almost impossible for doctors to completely eliminate the effect of a placebo because the patients’ expectations and beliefs are significantly influential. For example, in the experiment, 12 patients diagnosed with the Parkinson’s disease were given two placebos, one of which cost 15 times more than the other. Patients who received the more expensive dose reported an improvement of 9% over the cheaper placebo. However, when they scanned through the patient’s’ brain with a functional MRI, the patients who got the cheaper placebo had a greater response. According to the article, “this was a sign that the patients expected less from the placebo they believed cost less, so their brains responded by doing more work” (latimes.com). Sometimes the ethical issue does not lie within the doctors, for as you can see in the experiment, while doctors can influence a patient’s response by lowering or increasing the price tag of a medicine, it is up to the patient’s expectation to decide how the placebo would

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