I love reading medical blogs – it’s how I spend my early, early mornings before my day job kicks me in the lower forty and tells me to quit being a slacker. One such blog led me to read a frightening article about how a Gulf War veteran was given “Obecalp” as part of his treatment. When the veteran didn’t find any relief, he got to checking things out. Obecalp is placebo spelled backwards. To say the least, I’m amazed that anyone would do this to a patient.
The veteran was duped. No matter what kind of treatment a patient receives, he’s gotta be told. Full disclosure, ethics, and all that. To do anything less is fraud, in my opinion. After all, it’s not like this vet was taking part in a clinical trial.
The article goes on to say that regular docs have been found to prescribe placebos in place of medicine. I can understand docs’ temptations to do this, say in cases where a patient wants antibiotics for something viral just to shut them up. I had no idea this practice actually went on. I know that every one of my doc friends would be disgusted that a colleague would destroy the doc-patient trust.
Ironically enough, I’m informed by docs on a near-daily basis that integrative healing options are nothing more than placebos, so I do see the paradox of my outrage. However, the difference is that the patient knows exactly what’s going on in a professional setting. Well, okay, there was that time I fried my father-in-law’s synapses with a rousing Reiki session that he knew nothing about. In my defense, I don’t hang out a shingle that says, “Reiki Master” and get paid for my services. This was more a drive-by shot of Reiki which produced some incredible results that puzzled the gas out of his doc. But that’s for another post.
I’m wondering if my doc prescribes Obecalp for me if it’s okay to let the air out of his tires. After all, I really like the guy. Maybe I’ll just Reiki his cat as payback.
(Thanks for the links, Sid)