The Ethics of the Placebo in Clinical Practice
Journal of Medical Ethics 2004 December; 30(6): 551-554
While discussions of the ethics of the placebo have usually dealt with their use in a research context, the authors address here the question of the placebo in clinical practice. It is argued, firstly, that the placebo can be an effective treatment. Secondly, it is demonstrated that its use does not always entail deception. Finally guidelines are presented according to which the placebo may be used for clinical purposes. It is suggested that in select cases, use of the placebo may even be morally imperative. The argument is illustrated by three case vignettes.
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Louhiala, Pekka (2009-07)Three recent empirical studies on the use of placebos and two papers arguing for the deliberate use of placebos in clinical practice are analysed. Empirical studies demonstrate that placebos are commonly used. The concept ...
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