Medicine and morality in Haiti The contest for healing power

Morality and medicine are deeply intertwined in rural Haiti, and both are shaped by the competition between different religious traditions: Catholicism, Vodoun, and fundamentalist Protestantism. When people fall ill, they seek treatment from not only Western biomedicine, but also herbalists, midwives, and religious healers. Moreover, sickness can raise troubling questions about a person's innocence or guilt. Caught in a web of accusation and moral danger, the sick struggle to portray them- selves as upright ethical actors. Dr. Brodwin examines the local cultural logic that guides people as they negotiate between different healers and conflicting ethical systems. He shows how, in the crisis of illness, people rework religious identities and creatively address the fundamental contradictions of rural Haitian society