Medical Magic and Medicinal Cure: Manipulating Meanings with Ease of Disease

Essay Excerpt

From the U.S. perspective, typhoid was a form of pollution, and the Marshall Islands was its source. Notifying the Marshall Islands of their typhoid risk was part of an attempt to continue to control a hierarchical political relationship established during World War II and renegotiated in the Compact of Free Association, an agreement that included unilateral assistance in medical matters. The paternalistic views of the United States expressed in Article II of the agreement: "Special needs ... in health care" are self-evident: they are simply "recognized" as one part of the Marshall Islands' dependence on, and subservience to, the United States (Compact of Free Association n.d.; see also Title II, Public Law 99-239 United States Statutes at Large 99th Congress, 1st Session 1985, volume 99, Part II: 99 STAT 1800-1841 Washington, D.C. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1987). At the same time that the Compact of Free Association gives Marshall Islanders access to certain health services, it gives the United States the power to contain the dangers to its own "purity" by keeping island residents at a distance (158-159).

Carucci, L. M. "Medical Magic and Medicinal Cure: Manipulating Meanings with Ease of Disease." Cultural Anthropology 8.2(1993): 157–168.

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