The use of placebos in clinical settings raises a host of important ethical issues. On the one hand, ethical guidelines tend to categorically prohibit the clinical use of placebos because they require deception. On the other hand, a growing series of empirical studies has revealed that placebos can be clinically effective and are still widely used by health professionals. In this article we provide a synthetic overview of the ethical debate discussing: 1) the ethics of deceptive placebos; 2) the ethics of placebos without deception, and 3) the ethics of eliciting placebo responses without administering a traditional placebo.
- Clinical medicine
- Open-label placebos
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine