Sunday, April 15, 2007

Placebo Effect

A lady from my home country is here for a contract project. She is part of a project as a programmer and she goes home almost every two weeks. The set-up is quite unique and difficult.It is tedious. Then she told us that she has a sick child. As a single parent, the kid will need all the attention she can give during the medical treatment. The topic was centered on her child, whom she can not leave for a long time. Given the offer she has been getting from different companies here. She always go back home every two weeks. She has to let go of the other opportunities that come her way.

Her only child is sick with leukemia. As explained by the doctors to her. It is hereditary to have cancer. Almost every other week they would rush the child to the hospital. But at this time, she is grateful for her child has remained stable.

Just a few months ago, I remember my brother who died of cancer. At the age of 15, he was taken from us. Though it has been years, I still remember how he suffered from the pain of the illness. The pain was so much that morphine was used at the last stage. Sometimes the pain was terrible that the even with Nubain or morphine would not suffice. Sometimes early in the morning my brother would ask for the pain killer but the pain killer can only be administered when it is really necessary. My mother will pretend that she administered the pain reliever just to make my brother feel comfortable. Pretend- as in act out that she was injecting something in to the I.V. tube. It made him sleep well. That was placebo effect and very effective at that moment.

Placebo effect is important in cases like cancer. There are many instances that placebo makes the difference, sometimes even the cure of cancer is a result of placebo. A miracle is close to a placebo effect.

Placebo is a Latin word which means” to walk with the Lord" which was mistakenly translated in to English as “to please". In modern medical practice it has come to refer to medicines without any curative value or medicines "more to please than benefit the patients".

Contemporary medicine practitioner uses the placebo. Just like when a person has a flu or viral colds, an antibiotic is administered when it has really little or no effect at all as a cure.

Placebo is moving towards the new medical science with respect. For example, it has been known now as a self healing process of the body. New doctors are making use of this phenomenon to help in curing the patient. An emphatic interaction helps in advancing the cure of the patients. This is evident in most cancer patients. Remember, the television advertisement on the touch of a mother makes the baby feel comfortable. That again is placebo in action.

There is a thin line to differentiate a miracle or a placebo effect. Both thrive on faith. A little faith and a little hope will make you heal yourself. Also gives you -an outlook brighter than the morning sunshine. That alone makes the patient and the people around the patient smile. To think about tomorrow and to think that everything will be fine. That is so important to someone who is sick and the people who love the patient. Placebo is not just a term that medical professionals need to deal with but part of a human spirit of never giving up.It is the natural instinct that all creatures on earth has to hold.In order to preserve life and to boldly survive and triumph in the troubled world of human existence....