mitchellmckain wrote:What I think is sad is the way that the placebo effect is equated with no effect.
Wait a minute now, Mitch. This is the consensus of the medical establishment. I know that sounds vaguely authoritative, but the bulk of medical studies is the basis for this conclusion. The problem with going against this approach is that if you assume that there is a real therapeutic effect without administering any kind of real treatment, you pull the rug out from under the basis for any treatment. Then any treatment can be acceptable for any condition and there would be no way to determine efficacy.
Here is an article that discusses the issue of placebo: http://www.skepdic.com/placebo.html
In terms of the hypocratic oath the placebo effect is really the optimal solution because it cannot do any harm.
It is only the optimal solution if it truly can heal conditions, and I do not see any evidence for that.
Too much of modern medicine is a race between which will kill you faster the disease or the treatment.
No, I definitely do not agree with this; this statement is vastly exaggerated. The vast majority of treatments do not accompany a high risk of death. If they did they likely wouldn't exist. The only treatments that do carry such a high risk are those that treat extremely aggressive diseases, such as cancer, or they are treatments of a last resort in which death is all but assured if nothing is done.
I personally have not had a good experience with it. Too many drugs are just too potent and the side effects are worse than what they are supposed to cure.
Well almost everyone has had "bad" experiences with medical treatment, myself included. But considering the fact that I'm in my 40's and have had treatments for numerous conditions throughout my life, none of which have killed or damaged me, most have helped me, I can only conclude that on the whole, these treatments were a good thing. Without medical treatment, I would have a leg and an arm that wouldn't have healed properly from breaks and one numb hand from nerve compression. I'm probably in the middle of the pack as far as medical intervention is concerned; no major surgeries or treatments, but lots of minor ones. Even a bad experience may not be the fault of the medical treatment itself, but rather a bad decision by a doctor or nurse or perhaps an unexpected complication.
Drugs are generally as potent as they need to be if the doctor administering them is doing his job properly. Lowering the dosage below the effective limit would only ensure that no improvement will occur. Side effects are a reality of medication and this is no different for "natural" versus manufactured pharmaceuticals. Side effects are actually much more easily controlled in manufactured drugs than in natural remedies. But if you say that you aren't willing to accept side effects, then you are really saying you aren't willing to use the drugs.
The problem is that the placebo effect cannot stand up to skepticsm. It requires you to believe. This is one of those cases where belief determines reality and skepticism becomes self-fultilling.
No, the problem with placebo is that as a form of medical treatment it is easily falsified. Are you saying that you must only believe that something works and it should? Imagine what the world would be like if only this were true and anything would be possible if you only have the will power to believe it. There's no reason you have to stop at medical treatment; why not include finances, romance, athletic ability...just about any human endeavor. This is mystical thinking, pseudo-science masquerading as something real. Positive Thinking is the snake oil of the 21st century. And people like Tony Robbins are the hucksters. The only world in which belief determines reality is a world where nothing is falsifiable and we may live in that world, but if we do, then we actually know absolutely nothing about it.