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“What’s the harm” in alternative medicine placebos?

Aside from money out of pocket, the harm isn’t always obvious. One major concern is that people who are suffering from real symptoms will pursue placebo’s in lieu of sound medical advice. Another is that many of these alternative medicine scam treatments carry very real risks. Tim Farley maintains whatstheharm.net specifically to answer this question.

Please note, I am not trying to take away your decaf coffee. If you want to drink decaf for the fun of it, then that’s fine. My goal is to warn you about who would sell you hot water, tell you it’s coffee, and charge you three times as much for it.

↓ Transcript
WYLONA
What do you care if some people use placebos.
ROB
Placebos are like selling customers decaf instead of their morning coffee.

WYLONA
What's the harm in that?
ROB
If you ask they'll probably say they feel more awake, but they aren't really.

PILOT
Better make it a double. boy, I don't know how I'd fly without it.

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