Essay On The Placebo Effect

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of a blind or control group can affect the documenting of these types of coincidental effects and the belief of their cause. Thus people who know they are taking placebos will assume that their headache or other unpleasant symptom is not due to anything they are taking and may fail to report it. Those who know they are receiving real treatment are more likely to believe the causality are more likely to report it. The "blind" control group helps to balance the effects of incidental timing
Cases Of The Placebo Effect
The placebo effect has been observed in numerous studies spanning a wide spectrum of symptoms and maladies – everything from cancer to baldness and depression to sexual arousal. An early and famous story about the placebo effect is that of Mr. Wright. In Long Beach, California, in 1957, he was diagnosed with cancer and given only days to live. While in the hospital, he heard about a miracle cure called Kerbiozen, which supposedly had been effective in fighting cancer in certain cases. Wright begged to be treated with Kerbiozen in a last ditch attempt to save his own life. His doctor, Dr. Philip West, granted his request and administered an injection of this drug to Wright. Within a few days, Dr. West was amazed to find that Wright up and about, and even joking with his nurses. The tumors had spontaneously melted away. Then, a number of months later Wright read a medical report that claimed that this drug was actually a "quack remedy" with no real medical value. He immediately relapsed. Dr. West reassured him that the medicine was in fact very useful in fighting cancer and administered what he told Wright was a new, super strength dosage of the drug. Again the tumors disappeared, even though Wright had only re...

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...y hold the patient responsible for the failure and this may alienate and discourage the patient who is still sick. When all other treatment options are exhausted and faith is the only thing that may heal or comfort, this alienation and discouragement could prove disastrous.
Relying exclusively on faith healing and avoiding or delaying conventional treatment for a serious illness like cancer may have serious consequences. Death, disability or other unpleasant outcomes have occurred when faith healing was selected instead of conventional care for serious injuries or illnesses.
While competent adults may choose faith healing over conventional treatment, society often becomes concerned when parents make such choices for their children. This concern has created organizations who work on passing legislation protecting children from unproven treatment by faith healing.

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