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The current conflict in medicine concerning the use of placebos is examined in depth by a nationally known gastroenterologist and professor of medicine in one of our major academic institutions. The author discusses what he considers the three elements that interact when placebos are used: the physician's role as a healer, the placebo and its possible modes of action, and the patient in context.
The author draws a distinction between disease and illness, and suggests that the placebo is a legitimate form of therapy for "illness" even if we are uncertain about its mode of action and there is no
Doctors, Patients, and Placebos.. Ann Intern Med. 1987;106:644. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-106-4-644_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1987;106(4):644.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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