- Michael Torres
- Grand Junction, CO
- United States
Do unfairly marketed placebos, such as homeopathic remedies, lead to a distrust in actual medicine?
I'm less interested in the ethics of those who rely on the placebo effect to show scientific results and more interested in how the placebo effect can lead people to rely more heavily on anecdotal evidence when choosing treatment.
Two lines of inquiry occurred to me. First is the relationship between the average person and medical knowledge. Does the fact that most people have no idea how drugs that are prescribed to them actually work, so that when they suffer some awful side affect or the drug doesn't seem to be working, it leads them to the subconscious conclusion that they were duped somehow.
This ties in with the idea that upon switching over to unproven medicine that one will either experience the placebo effect and feel better or they feel worse but in a way that coincides predictably with whatever ailment they were trying to alleviate in the first place. As well, the extended human contact that one doesn't often get in a medical setting can do nothing but boost the sense of mental well being when dealing with alternative medicine.
Lastly, does the fact that feeling one 'understands' the pseudoscience because, frankly, it seems easier to understand, contribute to mental well being as well?