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High percentage of US patients on placebos without knowing it

A new study amongst doctors in the United States on the use

of placebos—pills with no medical effect—which shows that almost

half of the questioned practitioners who prescribe placebos,

most of them within the last year.

The majority of 466 faculty physicians work at Chicago-area

medical schools were interviewed by a research group of the

University of Chicago stated that placebos are useful to calm and

a patient down or to respond to demands for medication that

the doctor disagrees with, i.e. “to get the patient to stop complaining”.

96 percent of the physicians who surveyed believe that placebos

can have therapeutic effects. Close to 40 percent stated that placebos

could have benefit patients physiologically as well as mentally.

Twelve percent of surveyed physicians think that placebos should be

banned from clinical practice. Among the doctors who prescribed them, the

one in five said they outright lied to patients by those claiming

a placebo was not medication. But more often the physicians came up

with ways to explain like “this may help you but I’m not sure how it works.”