In this case study, from the early 20th century, physician William Osler cured a small boy of whooping cough. In the days before antibiotics, whooping cough was commonly fatal. Dr. Osler made an emergency house call to the young boy, who was dying of whooping cough. Because he went to the boy’s house straight from Oxford commencement ceremonies, he was still wearing his Oxford commencement robes. The boy believed the colorful robes meant that this doctor had magical healing powers. Every day for six weeks, the doctor went to the house, sat on the boy’s bed, and fed fresh slices of peach, which the boy’s mother prepared for the doctor each day. After six weeks of this routine, the boy made a complete recovery.

What do you think cured the boy? My personal hypothesis is that it was the loving care toward the boy by the doctor and the boy’s belief that the doctor had magical healing powers.