Ethical Importance Of Placebo

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The placebo has long been in effect since the beginning of medicine; it is defined as a stimuli 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 an analgesic drug. In addition, commercial companies also uses it to maximize their profits. While some believe and argue that all placebo involves deception and breach of contract and therefore is unethical, it is important to acknowledge effectiveness of a placebo. In fact, according to…show more content…
doctors prescribe a fake treatment( This is because placebo has been proven multiple times to be an effective alternative to an actual treatment. Although a “dummy pill” isn’t suppose to cause any direct physiological changes, studies have shown that the brain releases endorphins--natural pain-relieving substances-- “when people enrolled in pain studies are given placebos”( Another example is the Parkinson’s disease that consist of patients who lack dopamine. With a placebo treatment, patients were able to “trick” their brain into releasing or producing the particular brain chemical that they needed. With all that said, why should one worry about the ethical dilemma when an effective treatment is right there for a physician to prescribe? Unless there is an actual medicine or procedure that would provide a therapeutic value like antidepressants or Levodopa, doctors should always consider placebo as a viable…show more content…
An important point to note is that the placebo effect can be delivered in almost any form imaginable, be it verbally, physically, or visually. 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 “patients’ expectations have an important role in the efficacy of medical therapies”( 12 patients diagnosed with the Parkinson's disease were given two placebos, one of which cost 15 times more than the other. Patients who receive the more expensive dose reported an improvement of 9% over the cheaper placebo. However, when they scanned 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”( It is therefore important to have a placebo-controlled trial in a medical research because it would “ensure that any possible placebo effect will be minimized in the final statistical

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