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Would you want to know if a medication you were taking was working as a placebo?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by emzie, Nov 17, 2011.

?

Your medication is working as a placebo. Do you want to be informed of this?

  1. Yes, absolutely.

    16 vote(s)
    42.1%
  2. Yes, but only if it the medication is very expensive.

    6 vote(s)
    15.8%
  3. No.

    12 vote(s)
    31.6%
  4. I wish to take downtown... *wink*

    4 vote(s)
    10.5%
  1. AL_DA_GREAT

    AL_DA_GREAT amour absinthe révolution

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    If the medicine has side effects and/or costs a lot of money I might as well take an other placebo.

    If the placebo effect makes eating useless pills good for me then I would eat them.
     
  2. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    This is one of my favorite medical ethics questions. When I spring it on people who're waiting for their interview into medical school, they're often boggled.

    I went looking, and I found that different countries have different medical standards. AFAICT, it's something that needs to be decided by a committee, because there's no 'correct' answer. Do you inform your patient you're giving them a placebo? I just don't know!

    My biggest objection (other than the fact that it limits information exchange) is that it might cause a masking of other symptoms. If a patient undergoes a deterioration that CAN be influenced with medicine, you'd want to notice as fast as possible.

    OTOH, reducing suffering is very important. A white lie could have a large aggregate effect of reducing pain.

    Man, I just don't know. But finding out about the power of placebos kinda changed my mind on 'alternative medicines'. If they're actually reducing suffering, then they *do* have a material benefit, instead of just being a net loss.
     
  3. azzaman333

    azzaman333 meh

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    If I know it's a placebo, I'd stop taking it even if it'd continue to improve my condition because I'd be too lazy to take it any more.
     
  4. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    What I find utterly weird is that placebos actually do work, compared with taking nothing at all.

    I would want to know, but as a matter of policy it should be up to the doctor to determine based on his medical knowledge.
     
  5. emzie

    emzie wicked witch of the North

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    I'm surprised by the amount of yeses. Is the truth really worth suffering?
     
  6. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    Personally I'm saying this as a healthy individual with a logical mind unencumbered by the desperation of impending death. My response as a sick man would undoubtedly be different; sat here, at my computer, without the pain of illness or the face of death in front of me, I can safely and risklessly indulge my curiousity and find out the truth.

    "Please doc I'm begging you, just give me something for the pain!" - this is probably what I'd say in the moment.
     
  7. Silurian

    Silurian Deity

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    Witch doctors had some effect.
    Maybe it's the ritual of going to the doctor.
     
  8. tycoonist

    tycoonist Deity

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    If it's working, what do I care? NHS ftw.
     
  9. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    I was given Tylenol with codeine once. Turn's out that's a placebo. And wasn't effective at all.
     
  10. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    And we don't even know why!
     
  11. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    We have a bit of an idea. I don't have time right now, but I am going to be doing a bit of an infodump on this topic this weekend. There're honestly things about placebo science that've blown my mind when I heard about them.
     
  12. Neonanocyborgasm

    Neonanocyborgasm Deity

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    A physician who prescribes a placebo is a failure as a physician.
     
  13. say1988

    say1988 Deity

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    Why? It is justas likely (if not moreso) a failure of medical science.

    If you have the option of suffering without hope of a cure or having symptoms mitigated by dangerous and extremely expensive narcotics without hope of a cure or having symptoms mitigated by a completely safe and cheap placebo without hope for a cure which would you choose? I know which one I would and I wouldn't call my doctor a failure for doing it.

    Further, the original point was you were prescribed a drug that medical science believed worked and only discovered that is was equivalent to a placebo after the fact. You can't fault a doctor for prescribing based on what the scientific community tells him.
     
  14. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    Thanks, that would be awesome.

    IIRC there was a thread or article on CFC a while ago about placebos that blew my mind. I'll see if I can find it.
     
  15. illram

    illram Deity

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    So we are studying this phenomenon? Every time I read about placebo effects in studies on other drugs I wonder why we are not studying the placebo effect more.
     
  16. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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  17. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Yes please! I want my mind blown
     
  18. Ai Shizuka

    Ai Shizuka King

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    This makes no sense.

    Codeine is not a placebo. Maybe it wasn't enough in your specific case, but codeine or any other opiate analgesic isn't meant to be a placebo.
     
  19. emzie

    emzie wicked witch of the North

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    Some people aren't able to convert codeine into morphine in their body. That doesn't mean the medication is a placebo.

    In this case it's more like an SSRI once believe to be effective, later shown to not be.
     
  20. NetGear

    NetGear King

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    Humans are wired to take actions rather than be skeptic and be inert facing problems imo. Even if you don't believe in what you are doing, you may very well be sating that desired instinct by being proactive about it.
     

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