I’m both a big fan of truthfulness, and also of anything which benefits people in a practical manner. The fact that the Placebo Effect relies on the belief of the patient in the treatment, regardless of the pharmaceutical properties of the treatment itself, means that the effect is necessarily tied up with falsehood. It is belief despite the lack of pharmaceutical efficacy which is key. A sugar pill would fail to cure me of my ills as soon as the doctor owns up and admits it’s not a real drug, presumably.
If this is the case, is there any way to keep the benefits of treatments which rely on this (homeopathy springs to mind) without telling lies to the patient? Or are they irreconcilable?