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Can I use the placebo effect to treat injured or Ill athletes?

Marcus Campos, Pascal Borry, Michael McNamee Orcid Logo

Placebo Effects in Sport and Exercise, Pages: 169 - 181

Swansea University Author: Michael McNamee Orcid Logo

  • Accepted Manuscript under embargo until: 7th February 2025

DOI (Published version): 10.4324/9781003229001-15

Abstract

Placebo studies have recently become an interdisciplinary research topic in sports science and sports medicine. Beyond medical science, humanistic analysis is essential to assess the desirability of new treatments. This chapter focuses on the ethics of deceptive placebo use in clinical practice in t...

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Published in: Placebo Effects in Sport and Exercise
ISBN: 9781003229001
Published: New York Routledge 2023
Online Access: http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781003229001-15
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa64155
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Abstract: Placebo studies have recently become an interdisciplinary research topic in sports science and sports medicine. Beyond medical science, humanistic analysis is essential to assess the desirability of new treatments. This chapter focuses on the ethics of deceptive placebo use in clinical practice in the care of athletes. These practices may be conducted by sports physicians, nutritionists and physiotherapists. In this chapter, we develop four related themes. First, we analyse the traditional definitions of the placebo effect and its consequences for ethical analysis. Secondly, we showcase what sports medicine entails and why we should bring together evidence to understand it separately from medicine in general. Thirdly, we present the general principles of medical ethics and bioethics and apply them to sports medicine. Fourthly, we close with an understanding of the ethical problems surrounding the use of placebos in sports. We conclude by tentatively highlighting new avenues of investigation that suggest how placebo effects can come in different formats that reject the deceptive paradigm, presenting ethical alternatives for using placebos in clinical practice.
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Start Page: 169
End Page: 181