Placebo Effects: The Meaning of Care in Medicine

  • Pekka Louhiala

Part of the The International Library of Bioethics book series (ILB)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Pekka Louhiala
    Pages 1-17
  3. Pekka Louhiala
    Pages 19-39
  4. Pekka Louhiala
    Pages 41-97
  5. Pekka Louhiala
    Pages 99-120
  6. Pekka Louhiala
    Pages 121-130
  7. Pekka Louhiala
    Pages 131-134

About this book


This book provides a perspective on the concepts placebo and placebo effects, which has been missing so far: a detailed analysis of the history of the terms, their current use, suggested alternatives and the implications of the conceptual confusion. Everybody knows something about placebos and placebo effects. If, however, people are asked to define the concepts, the spectrum becomes wide. Does 'placebo' refer to an inert treatment or does it cover all elements of the patient-physician-interaction except for pharmacological or other physiological mechanisms? Furthermore, if, by definition, a placebo has no effect, what sense does it make to talk about a 'placebo effect'? Even in scientific literature the concepts ‘placebo’ and ‘placebo effect’ are used in many senses and often in a confusing way. While this book discusses many issues which keep puzzling physicians, it also covers the historical developments of the concepts of placebo and placebo effect as well as the conceptual confusion in the definitions. This book is intended for physicians, philosophers, psychologists and any other people interested in placebos, placebo effects and the physician-patient relationship.


clinical use of placebos nocebo patient-physician-interaction placebo and placebo effect placebo response placebos and placebo effects

Authors and affiliations

  • Pekka Louhiala
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-27327-9
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-27329-3
  • Series Print ISSN 2662-9186
  • Series Online ISSN 2662-9194
  • Buy this book on publisher's site