Ethicists say American doctors are more honest
When your doctor prescribes a medication, you trust it'll work. You'd likely consider it fraud if you found out it was a placebo.
A British study finds 97% of doctors surveyed admit giving patients placebos. But Dr. Jeffrey Spike, a professor at Houston's UT-Health Science Center, says that's not common in the U.S.
"If you had a doctor from another country, where this happens, perhaps they might still practice according to their home country standard."
Dr. Spike won't say it never happens, but American doctors are trained to be honest with patients about treatment and a good doctor would never consider giving a placebo.
"When we teach ethics here to our medical students there's a lot of emphasis on truth telling and not deceiving patients. So my suspicion is that it's much less common here than in England."
He says placebos are used in clinical drug trials, but the participants know going in they may be in the placebo group.