09.22.09 - THE PLACEBO EFFECT GUEST LECTURER EUGENE RAIKHEL Suggestion and hypnosis as a potential alternative treatment Placebo as an area

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THE PLACEBO EFFECT 22/09/2009 GUEST LECTURER: EUGENE RAIKHEL Suggestion and hypnosis as a potential alternative treatment. Placebo as an area interaction between medical anthropology and clinical medicine WIRED MAGAZINE 17.09: “Placebos are Getting More Effective. Drug-makers are Desperate to Know Why.” WHAT IS THE “PLACEBO EFFECT”? Placebo derives from the Latin “placere” from the vespers to the dead “I shall please the lord.” Physicians had long given bread pills and tonics to patients they couldn’t do anything for, or whom the physician suspected there was nothing wrong with. a) A short-=term and illusory impression of improved health that some patients experience when they take an inert substance that looks like real medicine a. Bioethics? b. The idea that placebo effects are “nothing” a “sham” or “all in the head” i. Emerged in 18 th century, when the aspect of the human mind called the imagination became increasingly ii. HARRINGTON: “Initially the entities we would call placebos were tools designed to expose fraud; not to clarify efficacy” iii. MESMER AND “ANIMAL MAGNITISM” Franz Anton Mesmer used magnets as a therapy with noticeable effect 1. Noticed there could be the same effect without the magnets iv. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND THE FIRST PLACEBO BASED TRIAL: investigation led to the understanding that, since these effects were produced by the “imagination” they were not worthy of rational explanation 1. This philosophy remains today, the idea that if the direct causal relationship or the chemistry that causes it, the placebo effect is not if interest to physicians 2. “Every placebo is a lie, and in the long run the lie is found out. We give a placebo with one meaning; the patient receives iwt with quite another. We mean him to suppose that the drug acts directly on his body, not thorough his mind. .. if the patient fids out what we are doing, he laughs at it or is rightly
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angry with us. .. placebo giving is quackery” Richard Cabot, Harvard Medical School, 1903, Quoted in Harrington (2008; 63) b) The non-specific effects of medical treatment that in clinical trials must be controlled in order for researchers to assess the specific effects of new interventions a. Complications or “noise in the data” of clinical and pharmaceutical trials b. By the mid 20 th century, clinical observations are increasingly viewed as a highly subjective form of evidence for a medication’s efficacy. Researchers increasingly use randomized placebo-controlled trials to test prospective medications. c.
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This note was uploaded on 10/23/2010 for the course ANTH Anth 227 taught by Professor Lisastevenson during the Fall '09 term at McGill.

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09.22.09 - THE PLACEBO EFFECT GUEST LECTURER EUGENE RAIKHEL Suggestion and hypnosis as a potential alternative treatment Placebo as an area

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