I have always claimed fibromyalgia is a fake disease of victimization invented by doctors to pad their bottom line by prescribing drugs to give hypochondriac patients psychological cover for a broken mind — that tries to adversely effect the body — but fails.
This week, the further proof of my argument was provided in a study indicating fifty percent of American doctors routinely prescribe placebos for their patients and similar results were reported for doctors in Denmark, Israel, Britain, Sweden and New Zealand.
“This is the doctor-patient relationship, and our expectations about being truthful about what’s going on and about getting informed consent should give us pause about deception,” said Dr. Miller, director of the research ethics program in the department of bioethics at the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. William Schreiber, an internist in Louisville, Ky., at first said in an interview that he did not believe the survey’s results, because, he said, few doctors he knows routinely prescribe placebos.
But when asked how he treated fibromyalgia or other conditions that many doctors suspect are largely psychosomatic, Dr. Schreiber changed his mind. “The problem is that most of those people are very difficult patients, and it’s a whole lot easier to give them something like a big dose of Aleve,” he said. “Is that a placebo treatment? Depending on how you define it, I guess it is.”
The troubling part of the placebo effect is that, in order for it to work, doctors have to lie to their patients.
Doctors can’t say, “here’s a fake pill to heal your fake pain,” or the placebo won’t be effective, so lies need to be told to get the patient to believe in a new, false, healing that might help them feel better.
Is it appropriate for a doctor to purposefully mislead a patient? Because any prescribed placebo is an intentional lie.
Controlled clinical trials have hinted that placebos may have powerful effects. Some 30 percent to 40 percent of depressed patients who are given placebos get better, a treatment effect that antidepressants barely top. Placebos have also proved effective against hypertension and pain.
But despite much attention given to the power of placebos, basic questions about them remain unanswered: Are they any better than no treatment at all? Must people be deceived into believing that a treatment is active for a placebo to work?
Why do placebos work? Is it the power of the mind? Or is it the influence of the doctor?
Are there any “placebos” that are prescribed outside the medical field to provide the same effect of healing a false symptom in order to temper the fevered mind?
Is there any other profession that intentionally tells untruths to those paying for comfort and protection?