Medicine Quality and Maternal Health: Examining Real-World Ethical Concerns for Frontline Healthcare Staff in the Context of Uncertainty
I joined the Ethox Centre in October 2020. My supervisors are Professor Patricia Kingori of the Nuffield Department of Population Health and Professor Proochista Ariana of the Nuffield Department of Medicine.
Uncertainty about the quality of medical products persists in many settings globally, this despite the varying ability countries possess in providing oversight, assurance and accountability. Considerable health, legal, social, and financial consequences are associated with poor quality, substandard or falsified medical products. These can have implications on the population’s confidence and trust in any healthcare system. Evidence suggests that most of the burden is borne by those in settings whose capacity to oversee quality assurance and governance is often constrained. In such contexts, those in the frontline of service provision may struggle with moral confidence when deciding how to identify and use medical products in the face of uncertainty and scarce resources.
As part of the wider project, Fakes, Fabrications and Falsehoods? Interrogating the social, ethical and political features of pseudo-global health, I will conduct a qualitative study to understand how frontline healthcare workers assess medicine quality, what and how contextual factors interact to shape experiences and decisions, and the choices they are confronted with when resources are scarce, and quality is uncertain.
This is a Wellcome Trust funded DPhil grant number 290830/Z/17/Z