Wasn’t sure where I should post this, but my main interest is in the legality of the issue. If it turns into a debate, I’m sure the authorities will move it.
I am a pretty skeptical person, sometimes even a bit paranoid. Whenever I have had a doctor prescribe a medication, I always wonder if I have been given the real thing, or just a placebo. This is especially true when the drug doesn’t have any effect on me. For some reason, very few drugs/medications have much of an effect on me, so this may be a contributing factor as to why I feel this way.
First of all, is this a legal practice?
Second, is it ethical?
You are a doctor and you have a hypochondriac patient who keeps coming to you with new problems. Let’s say that, after much testing, there is no reason for you to believe that anything is wrong with the patient. Would you try to give the patient a “special, new drug” (sugar pill) and see if it cures what ails 'em? Why?