The Use Of Placebos And Its Effects On The Treatment Of Many Disorders ( Stang )

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The use of placebos in research is a controversial topic. Critics argue that the use of placebos is unethical due to the possibility of patients not receiving the highest known method of care or perhaps any treatment at all (Temple & Ellenberg, 2000). This is unfortunate, as placebos play a vital role in determining the efficacy of new drugs as well as in the treatment of many disorders (Stang et al., 2005). By discussing the theories behind how placebos work and demonstrating that placebos can be implemented ethically, the aim of this paper is to illustrate that placebos are an integral part of research. Importance Term to Understand When Discussing Placebos When discussion the use of placebos in research, there are a few important…show more content…
Placebo-controlled studies are most effective when they are done in a double-blind manner. In a double-blind study, both the participant and the researcher are unaware of which group the participant is assigned to (placebo or treatment). This type of study helps alleviate both participant and researcher expectations. Lastly, most placebo-controlled studies use randomization, which means that all participants are randomly assigned to the different conditions, which helps ensure that no one knows which group the participants are in (Misra, 2012). Ethical Considerations and Concerns of Placebos in Research Temple and Ellenberg (2000) explain that there is an international document which defines ethical codes in regards to clinical research called the Declaration of Helsinki. Those who oppose the use of placebos in research often quote a particular part of this document that states that every patient that is ever part of a medical study should be treated with the highest proven method of treatment (Temple & Ellenberg, 2000). However, to state that patients must receive the highest proven method of treatment would place a barrier not only on placebo-controlled trials, but other forms of trials as well. For instance, when a new treatment is discovered, it is often compared to an older form of treatment. Since the new form of treatment is still being
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