So I am in Orlando, Florida for a fun weekend of theme park rides and I flip through the channels to find something to amuse until we leave for the parks again. I stop on CNN hoping to get some of "The Most Trusted Name In News" and see a lady (I don't remember her name) talking about how medical doctors are notorious for prescribing placebos when they don't know what is wrong with a patient.
Here is her list of "placebos":
This is the definition of placebo:
pla⋅ce⋅bo /pləˈsiboʊ for 1; plɑˈtʃeɪboʊ for 2/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [pluh-see-boh for 1; plah-chey-boh for 2]
–noun, plural -bos, -boes. 1. Medicine/Medical, Pharmacology. a. a substance having no pharmacological effect but given merely to satisfy a patient who supposes it to be a medicine.
b. a substance having no pharmacological effect but administered as a control in testing experimentally or clinically the efficacy of a biologically active preparation.
2. Roman Catholic Church. the vespers of the office for the dead: so called from the initial word of the first antiphon, taken from Psalm 114:9 of the Vulgate.
1175–1225 for def. 2; 1775–85 for def. 1; ME < L placēbō I shall be pleasing, acceptable
To set this lady on the right path anti-inflammatories, antibiotics and vitamins cannot be placebos because they actually are chemicals that perform a specific function in the body. The case can also be argued for saline. It performs as a tear replacement in eye drops and a fluid replacement intravenously for volume deficiency (ie dehydration) and as a vehicle for medication delivery. So technically saline does have activity in the body so it is not technically a placebo.
Should I go as far as to say that sugar pills can be argued to not be a placebo.... For diabetic patients on insulin therapy drops in blood sugar can be dangerous to the point of being deadly. These people take sugar pills to help in the regulation of blood sugar so in specific cases sugar pills do not count as a placebo unless they are being used as a "control" in an experimental evaluation.
The lady further went on to breed mistrust between patients and physicians when the "interviewer" asked if this was "legal" and she replied that the practice of giving placebos is "..legal but unethical." How do you like them apples...now the "most trusted name in news" wants you to revolt against your primary care physician. Is this how the government plants seeds to discourage "socialized" medicine or is this lady just another ill-informed media puppet?
This post just proves two things: CNN should not be the self-proclaimed "most trusted name in news" and I am an opinionated, angry c*nt.