Placebos for sale

by Gene on Jun. 12th, 2008

Jennifer Buetter, a Maryland housewife, has gone into the placebo business, selling sugar pills that parents can give to their children in lieu of medicine. Doctors have long noted that patients who believe they are taking medicine, even though they are only taking sugar pills, often show improvements, especially for minor complaints. The illness is largely in their heads. Ms. Buettner believes parents can soothe their cranky children the same way. Some doctors, however, disagree. And in any event, placebos should not be used in cases where real medicine is called for.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

K's picture
K says:

Thanks for the information on these new placebos for kids. I wonder how well they will sell? Will people actually buy them just so that their kids will stop complaining?

We recently wrote an article on placebos at Brain Blogger. A recent survey of more than 200 doctors that practice in academic medical centers, showed that 45% of them had given placebos to patients while providing clinical care. Is this right though? Is giving a pateint a placebo a form of betrayal?

We would like to read your comments on our article. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Kelly

posted on Fri, 06/20/2008 - 2:06pm

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