Overcoming entrenched disagreements: the case of misoprostol for post-partum haemorrhage

Narcyz Ghinea*, Wendy Lipworth, Miles Little, Ian Kerridge, Richard Day

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The debate about whether misoprostol should be distributed to low resource communities to prevent post-partum haemorrhage (PPH), recognised as a major cause of maternal mortality, is deeply polarised. This is in spite of stakeholders having access to the same evidence about the risks and benefits of misoprostol. To understand the disagreement, we conducted a qualitative analysis of the values underpinning debates surrounding community distribution of misoprostol. We found that different moral priorities, epistemic values, and attitudes towards uncertainty were the main factors sustaining the debate. With this understanding, we present a model for ethical discourse that might overcome the current impasse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-54
Number of pages7
JournalDeveloping World Bioethics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Misoprostol
  • Post-partum haemorrhage
  • Millenium development goals
  • Essential medicine
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Off-label
  • Empirical ethics


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