Oz and the Tinman

Topics: Placebo, Pharmacology, Land of Oz Pages: 4 (1440 words) Published: February 22, 2011
Oz and the Tin Man

In the classic film, “The Wizard of Oz”, Dorothy meets a tin woodsman. The solemn Tin Man tells Dorothy that he wasn’t given a heart. He then sings his hit single, “If I Only Had a Heart”, and through song and choreographed dance, the Tin Man shares his dream. He would be “friends with the sparrows and the boy that shoots the arrows”. He would be kind, he would be gentle, and he’d be “awful sentimental”, if he only had a heart. He believes that professional help is the only remedy and decides to ask the “magical” Wizard of Oz. A number of inconsequential events then lead up to the point when the Wizard of Oz gives the Tin Man a metal shaped into a heart. But in truth, the heart was a fake and it is obvious that Oz gave something to the Tin Man that he already had (America). The Tin Man had always been kind and gentle and awfully sentimental, but not until “Dr. Oz” administered his treatment did the Tin Man believe that. Few know that the Wizard of Oz is a modern parable about pathological effects. The Tin Man’s story relates well to the contemporary subject of placebos. Placebos are inactive pills or pretense procedures that have a seemingly miraculous healing effect. But miraculous doesn’t accurately describe its effect. The placebo effect is as natural as it is familiar. “It's like kids and Band-Aids... ‘“When you put a Band-Aid on a child… it can actually make the kid feel better by its soothing effect, though there's no medical reason it should make the child feel better.”’(11). But children and tin men aren’t alone. Band-Aids, sugar pills and sham operations have healed people for centuries, and for centuries doctors have studied why. The conclusion shows a direct relationship between belief and better health. Placebos instill belief by seeming to be real medication. This allows many doctors to use placebos to effectively heal patients. But some people oppose these doctors and claim that placebos are unethical...
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