Medicine: Indolent Isolation

Rows of pineapple plants trace intricate geometric patterns in the soil of Molokai's terraced hills. Herds of piebald cattle loll contentedly in its balmy tradewinds, and speckled deer cluster quietly under kukui branches to seek shelter from tropical showers. Hawaiians call moccasin-shaped Molokai the Friendly Island and regard it as an affable relic of the bustling new state's past. But to the 220 men and women who live at Kalaupapa—a tiny, low peninsula that juts like a useless sixth finger from the island's northern shore—Molokai is a dreary dead end, a desolate retreat from a world they fear to face and...

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