David Robson's article, "The Contagious Thought That Could Kill You," addressed both the placebo effect and the nocebo effect. The piece, published 11 February 2015 by the BBC, was of considerable interest, but it truly missed the mark in one respect. It alluded to "the brain's power"; clearly, it meant the power of suggestion!
For those unfamiliar with the terms, "placebo" ("I will please," from the Latin) has long been noted; placebos are routinely used in drug testing, to see whether the results are substantially different than the worthless alternative. "Nocebo" ("I will harm," also from the Latin) effects have also been observed -- notably when those receiving the placebo nevertheless report the "possible side effects" of the real drug.
The piece is well worth reading, though I should have been far happier had the author at least mentioned "suggestion" (or, better still, hypnosis!). It can be accessed here: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150210-can-you-think-yourself-to-death