1. The Placebo effect is real. A large % of the time, when a Placebo identical in appearance to the prior drugs are administered, the same reactions still occur despite the subsequent (fake drug) having zero direct cause.

    Just curious, if someone *knowingly* takes a Mentos as a self-administered plecebo for curing Cancer, should one make a bracha on the Mentos?

    I would think it would be on a par with taking flavored medicine, assuming that intentional usage of the “placebo effect” (a very real biological reaction sometimes for the good) is the main reason for taking the Mentos / flavored medicine .

    However, with medicine, there is a non-mental effect, whereas the Mentos usage as a Plecebo would, perhaps, be indirect (via the brain).

    In the Talmud, if one were to appoint a shlioch to accept a prutah now for marriage to “the next woman that the shlioch sees” then the marriage is good as soon as the prutah is given (before the shlioch sees the bride to be [assuming she agrees retroactively for the shlioch to be her agent]).

    But if one were to appoint a shlioch to accept a prutah now *for a woman the shlioch later will choose* then the marriage is not good immediately.
    This is because the shlioch’s mind is the deciding factor, not a random event, thus the decision has not yet been made. Whereas the case with the next woman the shlioch sees, that’s more of a natural event, the series of events is already set in motion, like an arrow released towards it’s target, the later event is the same as the original action, time shifted.

    By the intentional Plecebo, one could argue that the Placebo effect, while via the nervous system – of which the brain is a part – the series of events is more autonomic, the Placebo effect, while occurring in the brain, is nevertheless not a subsequent choice.

    I think the general idea is to use medical doctors for what they can obviously do. When that is exhausted, or if the cure is worse than the disease, then have a Mentos, maybe your body can work a miracle. After you’ve exhausted normal medical calculations. I don’t think we require a Cancer patient to undergo a year of painful therapy just to gain one extra day of life at the end of the torture.
    But there is a calculation to be made. Ignoring doctors completely is obviously not mainstream halacha. But, quality of life is a factor. Sanctity of life is a much higher value in Judaism. But I don’t know that it is infinitely higher. We wouldn’t demand a year of torture for just one extra hour of life at the end of that torture.
    I think.
    Why do I want to buy a Mentos?

  2. Ironic that the name, “Mentos” sounds like, “Mental”.
    Often, when I study basar v’cholov, I get cravings for a McCheeseburger.

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