Article Text

Download PDFPDF

The ethics of the placebo in clinical practice
  1. P Lichtenberg,
  2. U Heresco-Levy,
  3. U Nitzan
  1. Herzog Hospital, and Hadassah Medical School—Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr P Lichtenberg
 Herzog Hospital, POB 35300, Jerusalem 91351, Israel; lichtcc.huji.ac.il

Abstract

While discussions of the ethics of the placebo have usually dealt with their use in a research context, the authors address here the question of the placebo in clinical practice. It is argued, firstly, that the placebo can be an effective treatment. Secondly, it is demonstrated that its use does not always entail deception. Finally guidelines are presented according to which the placebo may be used for clinical purposes. It is suggested that in select cases, use of the placebo may even be morally imperative. The argument is illustrated by three case vignettes.

  • placebo
  • ethics
  • clinical practice
View Full Text

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.