“Conventional medical wisdom has long held that placebo effects depend on patients’ belief they are getting pharmacologically active medication. A paper published in the journal Pain is the first to demonstrate that patients who knowingly took a placebo in conjunction with traditional treatment for lower back pain saw more improvement than those given traditional treatment alone.”

There are a number of different layers to “accuracy” when it comes to placebos. To what extent are doctors acting responsibly when giving patients a placebo? To what extent are researchers acting ethically when giving patients a placebo during a research experiment?


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