What Placebos Can Tell us About Clinical Practice Guidelines
Placebos are simply blank pills or treatments dressed up to look like real medicines but which actually have no active ingredients in them. In fact, as a doctor, it is considered unethical for me to give patients placebos. And yet, as recent research has unearthed, placebos do instigate real changes in the body, are often as effective as the medicines they are mimicking, and rarely have any detrimental side effects. So, why does society frown on the placebo effect?