Filed under: Health | Tags: Antibiotic, Antibiotic resistance, Drugs and Medications, Ezra Klein, Health, Pharmacy, Public health, Resistance Issues
Ezra Klein wonders why, given powerful evidence of the effectiveness of the placebo effect, doctors don’t figure out a way to use it:
There are no end of situations that might lend themselves to placebo treatments: patients demanding an antibiotic when they have the flu, or painkillers when they have nothing but unspecific aches. The placebo could do the patient some good and avoid them some potential bad (side-effects, antibiotic resistance, etc). This is, of course, unethical, not to mention an invitation to some serious lawsuits, not to mention ineffective once word gets out. But the evidence in favor of the placebo effect is really quite tremendous: It’s hard not to wonder if there’s notsome way to marshal that cheap, safe power.
Yeah, could that cheap, safe power be marshaled? Might it be possible? Or are “could” and “might” the operative words here? Would it be unethical for me to say any more?
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