Open Strong-rowanstudent

By definition, a placebo is “a harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any psychological effect.” While a placebo is used to create a mental state that does in fact promote well-being and healing, it can be argued whether it is “harmless.” Remedies for physical illness benefit from a positive mental outlook, at the same time a pessimistic outlook can make people feel increasingly sick. Even terminally ill patients can alleviate their suffering if they commit to a belief in their own cure. While no reputable physician would lay hands on a patient and advise him or her to assign a cure to a higher power, providing patients with a placebo has much the same effect in patients whose commitment to the curative power of the therapy is strong enough. The placebo effect effectively deceives patients into believing that they are receiving medication to heal them while leaving the actual work to their psychological systems. In addition to this, the inconsistency of studies regarding what’s called the placebo effect and the ethical issues surrounding the use of “illusionary medicine” by medical professionals create a moral ambiguity surrounding placebos and their uses.

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