Placebo prescriptions called for Germans
German medical authorities have been reported by the Associated Press to advise doctors to more frequently prescribe a placebo for the treatment of pain. Clinical studies have shown that a placebo for back pain and other pain not associated with an otherwise acute event like a broken bone or cancer, can be more effective than pain pills in reducing reported symptoms. Needless to say it is a bit cheaper, too.
While the medical malpractice system in Germany might allow for such practices, it would be a much more complicated recommendation in the United States. There is little doubt that plaintiffs’ lawyers for medical malpractice case would find the willful prescription of placebos without the knowledge of the patient, to be a meal ticket for a big settlement.
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