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Use of Placebos for Pain Management in Patients with Cancer

The Oncology Nursing Society Position Statement
Endorsed by ANADecember 1996

Statement of the Position
The position of The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and endorsed by ANA is that Placebos should not be used to:

  1. To assess or manage cancer pain;
  2. To determine if the pain is "real"; or
  3. To diagnose psychological symptoms, such as anxiety associated with pain.

Nurses should not administer placebos in these circumstances even if there is a medical order.


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