Chapter

<i>Therapeutic mystique</i>

William A. Silverman

in Where's the Evidence?

Published in print April 1999 | ISBN: 9780192630889
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191723568 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192630889.003.0004
Therapeutic mystique

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This chapter presents a 1988 commentary on the role of the placebo effect in treatments. Patients appear to respond best when they ‘have faith’ in their doctors. Doctors also seem more effective when they ‘believe’ in the treatments they prescribe. It argues that the therapeutic mystique creates an ethical dilemma when a new treatment is proposed to replaced the trusted standard. It says that it is time to question the high moral status accorded an individual doctor's treatment preference, especially when the choice is backed by weak evidence.

Keywords: medical care; medical treatment; placebo; ethics

Chapter.  1322 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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