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Informed Consent and Placebo Effects on Treatment

Discuss your thoughts about the ethics of using informed consent vs. blinding the subjects to the expected outcomes of the intervention. Should they be told? How much should they be told? How would the placebo effect be impacted if subjects are told which intervention is being applied to them?

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It's important to distinguish the fact that we're talking about interventions and thus a treatment, in this case. If this were a research study wherein the actions we partake on the subject would not incur harm, then the whole ethics question changes. So, for an intervention or a treatment, we're looking at it from a purely medical point of view.

In medical ethics, patient autonomy ranks pretty highly as a necessity, and as an extension of this is the fact that they must consent to treatment, and be informed of the risks and benefits of such treatments before being asked to consent to them. Arguments against informed consent and instead blinding patients to these interventions are often dubious, and since you've brought up the placebo effect ...

Solution Summary

A brief discussion on:
1) The placebo effect on interventions if a patient is told what the intervention will be
2) The necessity of informed consent in treatments despite placebo effects