The Pros And Cons Of Shared Decision-Making

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Shared decision-making involves an open and honest conversation between the clinician and the patient. It is a collaboration that takes into account treatment options and the patient’s values and preferences. It gives a patient a voice in their own care. Therefore, pure placebo-prescribing is ethical when the patient has a say – which can foster a placebo effect within the patient. Not from the pill “itself, but rather from the relationship between [the] healer and [the] patient, and the latter’s own capacity for self-healing” (Brody, 1982, 117). In other words, the context in which the pure placebo is prescribed can influence its positive results. Contrastingly, when patients are left out of the decision-making process, there is no room for the clinician’s and patient’s relationship to grow. It also raises the possibility of deception – a concept appearing in almost all of the medical literature on placebo-prescribing in clinical practice. Proponents of placebo-prescribing argue that clinicians “can use non-deceptive means to promote a positive placebo response in their patients” (Brody, 1982, 112). However, some proponents also argue that…show more content…
On one hand, to involve the patient in decision-making, to act out of beneficence toward the patient and to have employed effective treatment options before considering placebo-prescribing is to respect patient autonomy and maintain the patient’s dignity. On the other hand, a consequential argument exists about the overall possible benefit of placebo-prescribing in clinical practice, if its use is effective. However, as I have said implicitly, the ends do not justify the means. Pure placebo-prescribing should only be done in limited cases where tests were ordered to try to rule out possible illnesses, where other acceptable alternative treatments were employed and where open communication and shared decision-making takes between the clinician and
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