Placebo Effect: A Literature Review of Its Effects and Ethics, The

Schlidt, Brian
One of the most interesting phenomena in medicine and healthcare is the placebo effect. Although in common usage, it is usually associated with the concept of "sugar pills," ultimately, the placebo effect is a psychological occurrence that goes beyond merely the area of medications. Due to a recent uptick in research, the placebo effect has been discovered to be akin to "white coat syndrome," and the mere act of visiting a physician can cause profound healthcare changes in a patient. Some of these changes do have far-reaching societal implications. Additionally, there has been several recent studies that have found that some physicians willingly or unintentionally prescribe placebos in their day to day activities. Ultimately, the effects of placebos and their common usage bring the ethics of placebos into question. The significance of this review should become evident quite quickly. The United States spent 17.9% of its GDP on healthcare in 2012, and this number is expected to only rise. Placebos are an important part of healthcare, and they simultaneously have costs and benefits on an individual and societal level. The impact of this study is to educate the public regarding their possible healthcare options and to demonstrate the impacts of placebos for healthcare providers.
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