Placebo Effect

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The placebo effect is defined as any substance that is not known to have any pharmacological effects, meaning it produces no meaningful changes in an organism, either chemically, or biologically, and is made to look like an active drug. The placebo effect coincides with the phrase "mind over matter." In a test done at Oxford University, it was found that patients, who had positive expectations of the treatments they were receiving, therefore had positive outcomes of the treatments. Where as, patients that had negative expectations of the treatments, therefore showed no improvement or had negative outcomes from the treatment. Placebos may work for mental obstacles, such as pain or even depression, but is it possible that placebos could contribute to a cure for cancer in the future? Pharmaceutical companies are now distributing placebos, as one such company is distributing a placebo to treat depression, as the actual, active drug is still in clinical trials. The brain is very complex, but if it is able to be tricked by placebos, then there would be a minimum need for active drugs, therefore lowering the risks of side effects. The downfall to placebos, is that some patients may have negative thoughts about the treatment before starting it, therefore turning the placebo effect into the nocebo effect.

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What are ethical concerns about selling Placebos? How would you feel if you found out you were given a Placebo by your doctor?

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This page contains a single entry by olso6188 published on October 2, 2011 11:59 PM.

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