Accepted Paper:

The care-providers at the margins of the conventional medicine  
Aline Sarradon-Eck (Université Paul Cézanne, Aix-Marseille 3)

Paper short abstract:

Communication presents a case study (made in 2007 and 2008) of a specialized clinic - in an oncology department of an University Hospital Center in France - in which so-called "spiritual healings" are practiced.

Paper long abstract:

Introduction of unconventional medicines in public hospitals reflects transformations in the health care system: ways of CAM's admission, new forms of care practices, new status of professionals.

This communication presents a case study (made in 2007-2008) of a specialized clinic in which so-called "spiritual healings" are practiced. This only clinic in France in a University Hospital proposes cares - which can be described as CAM - to patients, their family and health professionals, and leads a reflection on the patterns of introduction on such practices in hospital environment.

Case study shows underlying institutional and social stakes of the integration of CAM. Different processes of legitimacy of theses practices are defended by institutional actors opened to their integration among conventional cares: to link science and tradition, to justify by self and professional experience, to come within a local professional culture, to adjust to institutional norms, to secularize spiritual healings.

Panel W072
Complementary and alternative medicines and biomedicine in chronic diseases: what do we learn from the margins?