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Medical News & Perspectives
June 19, 2002

Pain Guidelines Encourage Vigilance

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JAMA. 2002;287(23):3067-3068. doi:10.1001/jama.287.23.3067-JMN0619-2-1

Washington—Placebos for pain are patently unethical, according to American Geriatrics Society (AGS) guidelines unveiled at the group's annual meeting here in May. "I've been amazed at how many seemingly high quality institutions allow the use of placebos postsurgery or for cancer-related pain," said Perry Fine, MD, professor of anesthesiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine and one of the guideline's coauthors. "They still view pharmacological interventions as so dangerous that they want to fool patients into thinking pain is controlled."