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'Placebo: Present knowledge and historical aspects'

Robert Jütte

Date: 6 march 2019 at 13:00 to 15:00. Wednesday.


Place: Sala Darwin. Facultad de Farmacia. Campus Burjassot.


Robert Jütte (University of Stuttgart)

Around 1750, the term “placebo” became part of the medical language.  Most of the times, the doctors of the end of the 19th Century did not administrate “pure” placebos but used any kind of remedy which was considered simple medication, weak, inefficient or without adverse effects on people. Recent investigations suggest that the patient expectative is an essential part of the placebo effect. Many studies have shown that certain expectation of the pain relief is enough to reduce that experience. The most relevant of the placebo effect is that in the past, not only doctors but also scholars knew or had the premonition that the phenomenon was caused by a feeling of conviction, an optimistic perspective of the success of the treatment. However, it took so much time to doctor’s recognition of the importance of the imagination in the treatment of the patients.

This conference addresses nor only the fascinating history of the “powerful placebo” (H. K. Beecher) but also shed light over recent experimental investigations and clinical studies. It also revolves around the recommendations and guidelines about how doctors and other sanitary professions can use the placebo effect, getting the best results and, at the same time, avoiding the effect called nocebo effect.

Brief biography of the lecturer.

Robert Jütte, born in 1954, is currently the Director of the History of Medicine institute of the Robert Bosch Foundation and History Professor Lector in Stuttgart University. He has been Visitant Professor in Innsbruck (Austria) and Zurich (Switzerland) universities. He was awarded as Doctor of Hebrew in Honoris Causa in 2018. Professor Jütte is a specialist in social history of medicine and has written and edited more than 35 books, some of them translated into English and some other languages, among which there is one story of contraception and another story of the five senses. A book about the history of the Jewish body is his most recent publication. Moreover, he is the publisher of the medical-historical magazine Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History) and the co-publisher of the Jewish history magazine Aschkenas. He is also the vice president of the steering committee of the Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesärztekammer (Scientific Board of the German Medical Association).

Organized by:

Instituto Interuniversitario López Piñero. Facultad de Farmacia..




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