Placebo Meeting II - 2012

Placebo Meeting 2012: Raz Lab

May 23-24th, 2012
8:30am — 5:30pm
McGill University, Downtown Campus
Montreal, Quebec

By Invitation

Placebos in the Clinic? Fostering Ethical, Educational, Policy and Practical Consensus is an international meeting funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Ethics Branch and the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Quebec. The meeting, the second of its kind, will bring together prominent placebo researchers from diverse fields as well as physicians, policy makers and related experts to discuss the realities of using placebos, placebo effects and placebo-like treatments in clinical practice.

Meeting Description and Background

Historical pillars of modern medicine, placebos are topical, counterintuitive, and controversial. The primary science of placebos – spanning the entire spectrum from the neurosciences to the social sciences – has made considerable strides in the past two decades. Although still nascent, the practical application of modern placebo research to clinical care is both budding and inevitable. We currently stand at a critical juncture for enlisting relevant actors, informing health care professionals, and guiding the translation of placebo research in a judicious and tactful fashion.

The event offers a unique opportunity to synthesize and integrate a tectonic approach to placebos, drawing on medical as well as non-medical disciplines, to tackle pertinent issues with special relevance to clinical care. Capitalizing on invited experts from diverse fields including medicine, psychology, bioethics, law, and government, we aim to provide a critical venue for the cogent advancement of perspectives concerning the use of placebos in clinical practice.

Four vital areas of inquiry will serve as the framework for the meeting: 1) Therapeutic Potentials of Placebos 2) Placebos in Medical Education 3) Contemporary Legal and Ethical Implications of Placebos in the Clinic, and 4) Towards Policy Recommendations for Placebos in the Clinic.

The meeting content will focus on medical and psychosocial factors with topics such as the conditions and clinical situations for which placebo-like treatments may be a viable option; clinical decision-making in situations where the available treatments are no better than placebo; the current costs, availability and frequency of placebo prescriptions; and, the intricacies of non-deceptive placebos. Through an intimate and participatory approach, we expect to develop frameworks for exploring this burgeoning research field as a potential entrée for the clinical domain.

We thank the following sponsors for their generous support for this meeting:

CIHR   McGill University   Jewish General Hospital

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