Friday, June 10, 2011

Placebos as Medicine: The Ethics of Homeopathy

Just yesterday I was at the pharmacy for the first time since I began self-identifying as a critical thinker.

The care the pharmacist took in explaining the use and interaction of the three drugs I was prescribed thoroughly impressed me - even in the haze of sedation I was still in the middle of. Fortunately Jodie was there to retain the actual instructions, because my focus was elsewhere in my delirium.

Addled as I was, I was still capable of reason. And I found myself thinking that that attention was, in its own right, an aspect of placebo - the non-specific effects of practitioner to patient interaction, to be more precise.  That led me to wonder what is new with my friend Scott Gavura, Blogger at Science Based Pharmacy, Skeptic North, and Science Based Medicine, as well as the only pharmacist I know.

I was too out of it to actually follow up yesterday. (Scott if you are reading this, I'll Tweet/Facebook soon.) But this morning, there in my RSS feed, was one of the more thought provoking articles on homeopathy, placebo-effects and ethics that I've ever read. And it was written by Scott.

Article is attached. Check it out.