All bow before the mighty power of the nocebo effect
Ben Goldacre discusses nocebo effects, through which unpleasant symptoms are induced by negative expectations, despite no physical cause.Key Concepts addressed:
Ben Goldacre, Saturday 28 November 2009, The Guardian
This week the parliamentary science and technology select committee looked into the evidence behind the MHRA’s decision to allow homeopathy sugar pill labels to make medical claims without evidence of efficacy, and the funding of homeopathy on the NHS. There were some comedy highlights, as you might expect from any serious enquiry into an industry where sugar pills have healing powers conferred upon them by being shaken with one drop of the ingredient which has been diluted, so extremely, that it equates to one molecule of the substance in a sphere of water whose diameter is roughly the distance from the earth to the sun.