[Ads-l] Linguistic problem in the medical field (;'-))

imwitty imwitty at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 8 22:32:06 EDT 2018

*See excerpt:*

*Rebranding Placebos*

*Harnessing the power of sham therapies for real healing might require a
new lexicon*

*By Laura Sanders, 10.25.2017, *

In early April, several hundred scientists converged in the Netherlands for
the 1st-ever meeting of the Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies.
The topic drew psychologists, psychiatrists, physiologists, ethicists and
neuroscientists, all enthusiastic about focusing a wider lens on a booming
area of study: investigation of how beliefs, expectations and motivations
can shape health. The well-documented, if often incidental, effects of
placebos – drugs with no active ingredients, or other shams concocted to
better measure another therapy’s effect – have triggered that boom.

But even before the conference date had been set, something was bothering
some prospective attendees, an annoyance that had gnawed at a few of them
for years. It was the word *placebo* itself. And though it seems like a
small issue – a word choice, a semantic nuisance – it struck scholars like
clinical psychologist John Kelley of Harvard that the name was having an
outsize effect on doctors’ ability to harness the power of placebos for

For starters, the name defies logic. “‘The placebo effect’ in and of itself
is an oxymoron,” Kelley says. “The placebo effect is the effect of
something that has no effect. That can’t be true.”

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