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PSY 352 Topic 1 Discussion Question 2

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PSY 352 Topic 1 Discussion Question 2
What potential biological, psychological, and ethical dilemmas might arise from using placebos in health care?

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There are many biological, psychological and ethical dilemmas to using placebos in health care. Placebos are pills used in clinicals trials to test effectiveness of certain treatment. In studies, one group will receive the placebo medication and the other group will receive the actual medicine or treatment. Biological issues with using placebos is that a patient receiving the placebo, may actually physically benefit more from the actual treatment or medication. While receiving the placebo, they aren’t actually getting treatment for a known medical condition. This can cause the patient’s condition to become worse because they aren’t getting any real medication. There are also psychological effects to using placebos in health care. This is often referred to as the “placebo effect”. Those who receive the placebo and don’t know may believe the “drug” is actually working when it is not. It can be hard to determine the actual effects of the real drug when this happens.

Finally, many argue that using placebos in unethical. This is especially true when using them can cause harm, injury or death to a person. They may also be seen as unethical if the patient is unaware if they are receiving the placebo or the actual medicine. This creates deception in the study and is generally considered unethical in research or health care.


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