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Pandemics and Placebos in Health Care

First few Article Sentences

A paradox is nothing new to medical science, much like the use of a placebo in treating patients. Richard Cabot combined both in 1903 when he struggled to balance the placebo’s deceptive nature with the unethical practice to avoid a treatment that actually heals. In 1920 T.C. Graves defined the “placebo effect”, writing in The Lancet about the impact drugs have in manifesting psychotherapeutic healing, real or perceived.

Since the 1960s, the path in approving new medications commonly includes a placebo, albeit with more success in subjective conditions such as pain and anxiety, and often differentiating between individuals. Even the word “obecalp” exists to make the use of a placebo less transparent to a patient.

The 1947 Nuremberg Code and its principles by which medical research must be conducted, including informed consent, lack of coercion and general beneficence, resulted from the reliance upon barbaric human experimentation within Germany’s Third Reich. The 1964 Declaration of Helsinki transitioned to physician self-regulation and away from doctrines imposed upon these health care practitioners. In 2002, the World Medical Association clarified the Declaration of Helsinki to ensure patients participating in drug-trials know that a placebo may be used.

Garner, Craig


Garner Health Care Corporation

Healthcare Delivery

July 11, 2023

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