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Abstract

Health care providers are expected both to relieve pain and to provide anticipatory guidance regarding how much a procedure is going to hurt. Fulfilling those expectations is complicated by the cognitive modulation of pain perception. Warning people to expect pain or setting expectations for pain relief not only influences their subjective experience, but it also alters how nociceptive stimuli are processed throughout the sensory and discriminative pathways in the brain. In light of this, I reconsider the characterization of placebo analgesia as pharmacologically inert and the use of it as deceptive. I show that placebo analgesia exploits the same physical mechanisms as proven analgesics and argue that it should be utilized to relieve pain. Additionally, I describe factors to help identify situations in which clinicians have the obligation to disclose the potential for pain coupled with ways of mitigating the risk of high-intensity pain by setting positive expectations.

Forthcoming events

Infectious Disease Seminar Series: Hepatitis B diagnosis, prevention and treatment: laboratory approaches to the elimination agenda

Monday, 06 February 2023, 1pm to 2pm @ BDI Seminar Room LG 0-1, Old Road Campus, Headington, OX3 7LF

Ethox seminar- Feminist-Ethical Perspectives on Digital (Health) Technologies

Tuesday, 14 February 2023, 11am to 12.30pm @ Big Data Institute, Lower Ground Seminar Room 1, Oxford Population Heath, University of Oxford

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Infectious Disease Seminar Series: Informing on Neisseria gonorrhoeae treatment and management through pathogen genomics

Monday, 20 February 2023, 1pm to 2pm @ BDI Seminar Room LG 0-1, Old Road Campus, Headington, OX3 7LF