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Power of Belief

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Power of Belief

Post by Royer Blaze on Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:20 pm



There have been many cases reported where a doctor prescribed what he or she thought was a miracle drug to a patient in need, only to find out after the patient was healed that the new drug was deemed ineffective for treating the condition for which it was administered. One such case, as published in the Journal of Prospective Techniques* in 1957, makes it very clear how quick and dramatic the "placebo effect" can be.

The patient, Wright, had an advanced cancer of the lymph nodes. Tumors the size of oranges filled his neck, armpits, chest, abdomen, and groin. Two quarts of milky fluid were being drained out of his chest daily. All the standard treatments had been used, yet Wright was not expected to live much longer.
Obviously, Wright didn’t want to die, and when he heard about a new experimental drug called Krebiozen, he begged his doctor to try it. Even though the drug was being limited to patients with at least 3 months to live, Dr. Klopfer eventually relented and gave Wright an injection of the experimental drug. This was on a Friday, and Klopfer honestly did not expect Wright to live out the weekend.
By the following Monday, Wright was out of bed and on his feet. Upon examination, Dr. Klopfer found the tumors to be half their original size. Ten days later, Wright left the hospital apparently free of the cancer.

Several months later, research reports were being published that revealed Krebiozen had absolutely no effect on cancer of the lymph nodes. When Wright read the reports, he immediately had a relapse and was readmitted to the hospital.
At this point, Dr. Klopfer decided to try an experiment. He explained to Wright that the reports were in error and some of the earlier supplies of the experimental drug had lost their potency in transit. He went on to say that he had a newer batch which was highly concentrated and so strong they had to take precautions before administering it. In actual fact, Klopfer was bluffing and intended to inject Wright with sterile water—a placebo.
Despite the bluff, the healing response was real. Once again the tumors in Wright’s body vanished in record time.
Wright remained cancer-free for another two months, until the American Medical Association announced that Krebiozen was completely ineffective in the treatment of cancer. At that point, Wright’s tumors came back with renewed vigor and he died two days later.


An excerpt from Choose to Believe, by Alan Tutt.

* The Wright case was also published in Life magazine at the time.

Royer Blaze
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