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The use of the placebo effect in clinical medicine--ethical blunder or ethical imperative?


Biller-Andorno, Nikola (2004). The use of the placebo effect in clinical medicine--ethical blunder or ethical imperative? Science and Engineering Ethics, 10(1):43-50.

Abstract

The current debate in medical ethics on placebos focuses mainly on their use in health research. Whereas this is certainly an important topic the discussion tends to overlook another longstanding but nevertheless highly relevant question, namely if and how the placebo effect should be employed in clinical practice. This paper describes the way the placebo effect is perceived in modern medicine and offers some historical reflections on how these perceptions have developed; discusses elements of a definition of the placebo effect; and suggests some conditions under which making use of the therapeutic potential of the placebo effect can be ethically acceptable, if not warranted.

Abstract

The current debate in medical ethics on placebos focuses mainly on their use in health research. Whereas this is certainly an important topic the discussion tends to overlook another longstanding but nevertheless highly relevant question, namely if and how the placebo effect should be employed in clinical practice. This paper describes the way the placebo effect is perceived in modern medicine and offers some historical reflections on how these perceptions have developed; discusses elements of a definition of the placebo effect; and suggests some conditions under which making use of the therapeutic potential of the placebo effect can be ethically acceptable, if not warranted.

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17 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Issues, Ethics and Legal Aspects
Social Sciences & Humanities > Health (social science)
Health Sciences > Health Policy
Social Sciences & Humanities > Management of Technology and Innovation
Language:German
Date:January 2004
Deposited On:27 Apr 2020 11:31
Last Modified:06 May 2020 20:15
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1353-3452
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-004-0061-1
PubMed ID:14986770

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