October 24, 2008

SO, LET'S SEE IF WE HAVE THIS STRAIGHT...:

Placebos don't make ethicists feel better: A survey of U.S. doctors finding wide use of dummy pills makes some uneasy with the deception. (Maria Cheng, October 24, 2008, LA Times)

About half of American doctors in a new survey say they regularly give patients placebo treatments -- usually drugs or vitamins that won't really help their conditions.

And many of the doctors are not honest with their patients about what they are doing, the survey found.

That contradicts advice from the American Medical Assn., which recommends that doctors use treatments with the full knowledge of their patients.

"It's a disturbing finding," said Franklin G. Miller, director of the research ethics program at the National Institutes of Health and one of the study authors. "There is an element of deception here which is contrary to the principle of informed consent."


...people are healthier than they've ever been, but demand diagnoses of and treatments for their non-existent "ailments" from doctors, who then give them a fake cure for the phony ill and everyone's happy. But the patients, who refused to accept that the were fine to begin with, will accept it when they're told the pill is just to shut them up? Color us dubious.

How about just restoring market principles and making patients pay for the medications they demand? That'll cut the problem drastically.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 24, 2008 11:47 AM
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