Placebos, a common practice among doctors US Doctors

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal indicates that among U.S. doctors, placebo treatments were a regular practice. The doctors did not hesitate to prescribe vitamins, sedatives or even antibiotics to patients although the medication would do no good to the patient’s health.

The prescription basically affects the patient’s peace of mind.

A survey was conducted on 679 general internal medicine physicians and rheumatologists by researchers from the National Institutes of Health. It was found, that about half of the doctors admitted to prescribing placebo treatments without informing the patient. 62 percent doctors believed that this practice was ethically sound.

"I think it's a deep-seated impulse in doctors today to promote positive expectations even through a psychological mechanism," Tilburt explained.

"Doctors feel pressured to prescribe something in order to show the patient that they are taking their symptoms seriously and trying to do something about it, so they try to find creative ways to make patients feel better, and will use any tool available, including psychological benefits."

"I would hope that physicians were not using deceptive tactics to treat their patients," said Dr. Ted Palen, an internist at the Colorado Permanente Medical Group in Denver, Colorado.

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