The Importance Of The Placebo Effect

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In the past, ranging from 20,000 BC to the 20th century, medicine relied heavily on the placebo effect in order to relieve the symptoms of various minor and major ailments. On the surface, some of these treatments were relatively harmless, such as laying hands on the patient to expel illness, but others were outright dangerous and often harmed the patient. Bloodletting, cutting of the veins in order to cleanse the body, is a prime example of one such harmful procedure (Shapiro 3-19). The time before modern medicine was when it seemed the placebo effect flourished, being the only true relief patients could rely on, even though they were not aware of it. So,how effective is the placebo effect today? With randomized clinical trials and scrutiny of a drug required before being placed on the market, has the placebo diminished? On the contrary, the placebo effect has remained strong and powerful. …show more content…
When the active treatment in a medication is indeed beneficial to the patient, the added placebo effect is seen as a bonus to further alleviate symptoms. On the other hand, when a medication depends on the placebo effect as the main mode of relief, many ethical issues arise in terms of patient consent and knowledge. A further issue with the placebo phenomenon is its counterpart, the nocebo effect. This effect can increase negative implications on patient’s symptoms and can even create symptoms that might not have been present. Patients, having been informed of the possibility of certain side effects, even if they may be rare in occurrence, can cause the nocebo effect. Determining when and what information doctors should disclose to patients is a major ethical

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