Magazine
Latest Issue

Reclaiming the placebo

Alternative medicine is bunk, but makes good use of the placebo effect. Orthodox practitioners should be allowed to do the same

I am one of a breed of doctors who is as happy to recommend the “herbal remedy” St John’s Wort for depression (as good as the SSRI class of antidepressant for moderate to severe depression, and biochemically similar to  “normal” antidepressants) as I am to prescribe aspirin after a heart attack (not only is it proven to prevent further heart damage, it is also an extract of willow-bark). It is evidence that leads me to this conclusion; if the evidence finds favour for a treatment as doing more good than harm, I should offer it to my patient.

Contrary to…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect