Time 1955
Title Henry Knowles Beecher introduces placebo-controlled clinical trials
Event At Massachusetts General Hospital, anesthesiologist Beecher announces that 30 percent of a drug’s or a doctor’s success is due to the patient’s expectation of a desired outcome, or the “placebo effect” The American Society of Psychosomatic Medicine is founded, which further explores the placebo effect.

Beecher and other researchers including Ronald Melzack study badly wounded World War II soldiers and observes that most of them request no pain medication even though it is available. This leads him to question the mind’s impact on healing, pain control, and general well being. The observation also sparks Beecher’s heavy support of using placebos in all drug clinical trials.

Beecher is keenly interested in psychosomatic or “mind-body” research. So, it is difficult to separate the mind/body connection in his work.

The spirit is not emphasized in Beecher’s theory.

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