The letters by Clifton Blincoe and W. Crawford Clark published in The Scientist, (12[2]:8, Oct. 26, 1998) under the heading "Homeopathy and Alternative Medicine" emphasize the role that the placebo effect plays in alternative medicine and homeopathy. (The letters refer to articles published previously: S. Bunk, The Scientist, 12[18]:1, Sept. 14, 1998; D. Viza, The Scientist, 12[18]:8, Sept. 14, 1998.)

The recent article by Sandra Blakeslee, "Placebos Prove So Powerful Even Experts Are Surprised" (The New York Times, Oct. 13, 1998, page F1) should raise the red warning flag for medical consumers who opt for alternative medical treatments for cancer, AIDS, heart disease, and arthritis. Everyone who has studied the claims made for these totally different treatments has discovered that they have two things in common. None have been proved effective, and promoters eagerly promise "healing."

Since only anecdotal testimony supports...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?