Medicine and Morality in Haiti: The Contest for Healing Power

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Morality and medicine are inextricably intertwined in rural Haiti, and both are shaped by the different local religious traditions, Christian and Vodoun, as well as by biomedical and folk medical practices. When people fall ill, they seek treatment not only from Western doctors but also from herbalists, religious healers and midwives. Dr Brodwin examines the situational logic, the pragmatic decisions, that guide people in making choices when they are faced with illness. He also explains the moral issues that arise in a society where suffering is associated with guilt, but where different, sometimes conflicting, ethical systems coexist. Moreover, he shows how in the crisis of illness people rework religious identities and are forced to address fundamental social and political problems.