Survey: Many doctors prescribe placebos

October 23, 2008 2:16:12 PM PDT
Is that medication you're taking really what you think it is?Results of a surprising new study find many doctors give their patients placebos. Researchers at the University of Chicago surveyed nearly 700 general internal medicine physicians and rheumatologists.

Forty-eight-percent admitted to prescribing placebos when there was no evidence it would work. The most common reason to calm down a stressed out patient.

Placebo treatments included sugar pills, vitamins, sedatives, antibiotics and herbal supplements. Many doctors felt placebos would help patients feel better.

Sixty-two-percent surveyed believe the practice to be ethically acceptable even though they rarely told their patients.


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