Medical Bluders (3): Science is all good?

I did my Ph.D at MIT in 1987. I met many Nobel Prize winners in person. I learnt from a few of them.  Science is a great thing. Without it, we could be still in the darkness of superstition.

Having said that, I always think that our worshipping of science has costed us something very very valuable.  “Something” unexplainable in terms of science. We lost them.

So called, Placebo effects/Natural Healings are known to account for 60% of all healings.  We tend to have lost them all.  How many times do we experience of getting well just by talking to doctors?  Somehow body heals itself without any scientific intervention.

When we are trying to find an active ingredient, knowing what is the placebo effects and what is truly actively active is very important.  But, that is only when we want to know what the active ingredients are. For most of us for most of times, we want to get well, rather than finding active ingredients. When we have serious illnesses and pains, we do not care whether helps are from the active ingredients or pure placebo effects.

Let me give an extreme case. If a bogus treatment has a tremendous placebo effect on cancer, would you not use it?  Modern medicine says “No”  But, I say “I do not care”  I believe that if it works we should use it. It is a matter of cost and effect. Unless the treatment is reasonable in its cost, and if it works, I just do not care whether it is from active ingredients or placebo effects.

I wish that medical schools teach more about how to maximize the placebo effects, rather than how to ignore it.

As for pharmaceutical companies, it is also known that most of their newer and more expensive drugs work better due to placebo effects. So, these days, pharmaceutical companies are pioneering a trend to maximize the usage of placebo effects.