History of Medicine – On the Italian front, in 1944, a morphine shortage led Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Beecher to substitute brine.
At the beginning of 1944, the battle broke out on the Italian front. The wounded flock to the US Army Field Hospital, but Lieutenant Colonel Henry Beecher, a civilian life anesthesiologist, ran out of morphine. Then he has a funny idea: inject a saline solution and make the victim think it’s a useful analgesic. And it works… Here it aroused the interest of Henry Beecher, and the beginning of an adventure that will open a new era in the study of the placebo effect. A story as beautiful as medicine loves to tell, where misfortune smiles at the daring and makes science take a giant step. But the best stories are not always the truest … And this story, most likely, is completely wrong.
Henry Beecher was an anesthesiologist, served on the Italian front and then developed the science of the placebo effect. But this physiological story of saline injected with morphine … has been told by several authors, including …
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