"The placebo effect is well documented, especially among psychosomatic illnesses. If you think you are getting treatment, you may feel better, even if you're only taking sugar pills. But there is another pattern recognized in failing patients that these charlatans exploit:
(1) If the patient's condition is declining, he needs the nostrum;
(2) If he continues to get worse, he needs more of the nostrum;
(3) If he has a natural remission, it must have been because of the nostrum;
(4) And if he dies, the therapy was not started soon enough.
The quack can't lose."
-- From Dr. Bob's Homepage for Medical Quackery