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Old 03-20-2007, 03:54 PM   #26
Spider AL
@Spider AL
A well-spoken villain...
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Join Date: Jan 2002
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Originally posted by tk102:

I would like to hear your take on the placebo effect, Spider. Placebos are irration and yet to some extent, they are effective.
As ET points out, you're incorrect. The placebo is not effective at all. The patient may become more positive and think more positively if they believe that they're taking an effective pill... but that does not make the pill effective.

Positive thought can help someone's morale during an illness. But you don't need to lie to yourself and you don't need others to lie to you in order to achieve a positive mindset. Therefore placebos are not useful, therapeutically speaking.

Furthermore positive thinking by itself has never been shown to remedy serious illnesses in any meaningful way. I think that effectively addresses your assertions concerning that particular issue.

Originally posted by tk102:

I know science often uses placebo as baseline for measuring effectiveness, which is to say it defines the effectiveness of placebo as zero.
The effectiveness of a placebo is zero. The point of such blind tests is that it negates the effect of positive thinking (among other factors) upon the test-subjects. Such tests are ALL that placebos are useful for.

In such a test, ALL participants are taking a pill. They cannot tell whether the pill is real or a placebo. Thus they all have the same level of positivity/negativity regarding said pill. Thus the only effect that is measured in the results is the effect of the real drug.

Thus the therapeutic factor is basically isolated and can be relied upon with more certainty.

Originally posted by tk102:

However, if the symptoms have been reduced by placebo, isn't that something of a benefit that should not be discounted?
As stated before, positive thinking is good, and you don't need a placebo (a homeopathic remedy for instance) to achieve it. So of course the "benefit" you're describing can and should be discounted. Why lie to people when you can tell them the truth and achieve the same results?

Originally posted by tk102:

And a step farther... if there is no other known medical option, is it moral to take away someone's belief in a placebo just because it is an irrational belief?
Yes, of course it's moral. Their time would be better spent searching the world for medical trials and cutting-edge experimental (but scientifically based) treatments rather than drinking a bottle of magic water on the say-so of some swami or other. It would be moral to show them that truth. It would be immoral to perpetuate the lie.

[FW] Spider AL
Hewwo, meesa Jar-Jar Binks. Yeah. Excusing me, but me needs to go bust meesa head in with dissa claw-hammer, because yousa have stripped away meesa will to living.
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