Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Effect of the Placebo

By Shawn Vuong

I find it extremely interesting that Dr. Holm would bring up the power of faith and hope in the relief of pain and suffering, so closely to the article the British Medical Journal recently published about placebos.  

The study found that nearly half of the physicians that responded claimed that they regularly prescribed "placebos" to their patients.  So any reasonable person should be asking themselves, 'Hey what's going on here?  These doctors sound like their engaging in some pretty shady behavior that could be effecting my health!'  

The New York Times also got wind of this journal article, and they question the ethical findings of the study's results.  A solo-family practice doctor thinks this maybe the media's "Gotcha Style" journalism at work.  The doctor points out that the survey in the BMJ study didn't use the word placebo even once.  

Kevin MD also stated that the effect of placebos can be very powerful, "however ethically incorporating the power of the placebo effect in everyday medical practice remains a challenge."

believe that the faith that the patient has in his/her provider is just as important as the actual treatment.  While placebos have shown that they can have strong effects on many illnesses, this makes me question the real value of some medications.  Also, this brings up some questions about treatments.  Can some illnesses be cured through a mind over matter technique?  If so, do alternative medical therapies take advantage of this idea?  How does the traditional practitioner take advantage of this mindset?  Hopefully, it is not only through prescribing placebos.  

1 comment:

sheela said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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