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The moral case for the clinical placebo.
J Med Ethics. 2014 Apr; 40(4):219-24.JM

Abstract

Placebos are arguably the most commonly prescribed drug, across cultures and throughout history. Nevertheless, today many would consider their use in the clinic unethical, since placebo treatment involves deception and the violation of patients' autonomy. We examine the placebo's definition and its clinical efficacy from a biopsychosocial perspective, and argue that the intentional use of the placebo and placebo effect, in certain circumstances and under several conditions, may be morally acceptable. We highlight the role of a virtue-based ethical orientation and its implications for the beneficent use of the placebo. In addition, the definitions of lying and deception are discussed, clarified and applied to the clinical placebo dilemma. Lastly, we suggest that concerns about patient autonomy, when invoked as a further argument against administering placebos, are extended beyond their reasonable and coherent application.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, Herzog Hospital, , Jerusalem, Israel.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

23750027

Citation

Gold, Azgad, and Pesach Lichtenberg. "The Moral Case for the Clinical Placebo." Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 40, no. 4, 2014, pp. 219-24.
Gold A, Lichtenberg P. The moral case for the clinical placebo. J Med Ethics. 2014;40(4):219-24.
Gold, A., & Lichtenberg, P. (2014). The moral case for the clinical placebo. Journal of Medical Ethics, 40(4), 219-24. https://doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2012-101314
Gold A, Lichtenberg P. The Moral Case for the Clinical Placebo. J Med Ethics. 2014;40(4):219-24. PubMed PMID: 23750027.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The moral case for the clinical placebo. AU - Gold,Azgad, AU - Lichtenberg,Pesach, Y1 - 2013/06/08/ PY - 2013/6/11/entrez PY - 2013/6/12/pubmed PY - 2014/10/28/medline KW - Autonomy KW - Clinical Ethics KW - Informed Consent SP - 219 EP - 24 JF - Journal of medical ethics JO - J Med Ethics VL - 40 IS - 4 N2 - Placebos are arguably the most commonly prescribed drug, across cultures and throughout history. Nevertheless, today many would consider their use in the clinic unethical, since placebo treatment involves deception and the violation of patients' autonomy. We examine the placebo's definition and its clinical efficacy from a biopsychosocial perspective, and argue that the intentional use of the placebo and placebo effect, in certain circumstances and under several conditions, may be morally acceptable. We highlight the role of a virtue-based ethical orientation and its implications for the beneficent use of the placebo. In addition, the definitions of lying and deception are discussed, clarified and applied to the clinical placebo dilemma. Lastly, we suggest that concerns about patient autonomy, when invoked as a further argument against administering placebos, are extended beyond their reasonable and coherent application. SN - 1473-4257 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23750027/The_moral_case_for_the_clinical_placebo_ L2 - http://jme.bmj.com/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=23750027 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -