Jennifer Prah Ruger
Associate Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Expertise & Civic Involvements
Dr. Ruger’s research and scholarship are in public health and health policy at the intersection of ethics, economics, and politics in health and health care. This includes areas such as global health justice and governance, health and social justice, health financing and insurance, health systems and economic development, and economic evaluations of addiction programs and humanitarian services. These contributions are unified by an overarching interest in disparities and equity in health and health care, focusing on vulnerable and impoverished populations at the national and global levels.
Dr. Ruger is a member of the Committee for PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) Evaluation in two working groups at the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. She is also a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Global Health. For the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she serves on the Ethics Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee to the Director. She also co-coordinates the Health and Disability thematic group at the Human Development and Capability Association.
"Shared Health Governance" American Journal of Bioethics 11, no. 7 (2011): 32-45. Pioneers an original theory of social cooperation for governing health domestically.
Health and Social Justice (Oxford University Press, 2009). Offers an imaginative new theoretical framework for the analysis of health and healthcare disparities at the intersection of ethics, economics and politics in health and healthcare.
"Global Health Justice" Public Health Ethics 27, no. 3 (2009): 261-275. Develops components of a theory of global health justice, based on universal ethical norms (general duty) with shared global and domestic responsibility (specific duties) for health. Puts forth a view called ‘provincial globalism’ as a mean between nationalism and cosmopolitanism, in which a local consensus must accompany a global consensus on health morality. This account is grounded in global and national duties to promote human flourishing and, more specifically, individuals’ central health capabilities.
"Moral Foundations of Health Insurance" Quarterly Journal of Medicine 100, no. 1 (2007): 53-57. Offers a novel moral framework for analyzing health insurance, which has become increasingly important in the current health reform debate around the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This article has been cited during legal proceedings in the Supreme Court and in California, Florida, Virginia and Michigan in support of the argument that healthcare markets are unique and therefore minimum coverage provisions are a necessary and proper means of government regulation.
"Measuring Disparities in Health Care" British Medical Journal 333, no. 7562 (2006): 274. Illustrates how shortfalls in healthcare quality are more meaningful than differences between socio-demographic groups. It has been cited in Milbank Quarterly and Bulletin of the World Health Organization.
"Ethics and Governance of Global Health Inequalities" Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 60, no. 11 (2006): 998-1003. Was one of the first studies to demonstrate why global health inequalities are morally troubling, why efforts to reduce them are morally justified, and how they should be measured and evaluated.
- "Reforming Health Care in America," Interview with Michael Greenwood and Denise Meyer, Yale School of Public Health, April 9, 2012.
- Jennifer Prah Ruger's research on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act discussed in , "Professor Cited in Brief to U.S. Supreme Court on New Public Health Law," YaleNews, February 3, 2012.
Talks and Briefings
- "Shared Health Governance," Greenwall Foundation, Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics Bi-Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, May 24, 2011.
- "Global Health Governance as Shared Health Governance," Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics, Annual Conference: The Globalization of Health Care: Legal and Ethical Challenges, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA, May 20, 2011.
- "Global Health Justice and Governance," Health Law, Ethics and Policy Seminar Series, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, March 10, 2011.
- "The World Health Organization in a Shifting Governance Landscape," Council on Foreign Relations, Global Health Governance Series, Global Health Program, New York, NY, November 16, 2010.
- "Public Health Ethics and Public Engagement," American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, October 22, 2010.
- "Why is Prevention a Political Lightweight," American Political Science Association, 2010 Annual Meeting and Exhibition, Washington, D.C., September 2, 2010.
- "Global Health Inequalities and Governance," The Bob Jones Memorial Lecture, International Affairs Conference 2010: “Empowering Women and Children for Global Health,”, Star Island, NH, July 18, 2010.
- "Health and Social Justice," Magistral Courses series, Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo and Escuela de Salud Publica de Menorca, Santander, Spain, June 28, 2010.
- "Health and Social Justice," Oxford University (sponsored by Department of Public Health, Department for International Development, The Global 13 Economic Governance Programme, and The Ethox Centre), June 22, 2010.
- "Human Rights and Health: Theoretical Foundations," Human Development Seminar on Accountability and Human Rights, The World Bank, Washington, D.C., May 24, 2010.
- "Global Health and Ethics," Equity and Health: Connecting Ideas and Knowledge Sharing, PAHO/WHO Pan American Health Organization, Washington, D.C., February 24, 2010.
- "Health Capability: Conceptualization and Operationalization," Bioethics Colloquium Series, University of Pennsylvania, January 7, 2010.
- "Health Capability: Conceptualization and Operationalization," University College London, UK, December 16, 2009.
- "Effects of Illness on Household Consumptions in A Rural Commune of Vietnam," International Health Economics Association 7th World Congress on Health Economics, Beijing, China, July 14, 2009.
- "Effects of the World Bank’s Maternal and Child Health Intervention on Indonesia’s Poor: Evaluating the Safe Motherhood Project," 2nd Biennial Conference of the American Society of Health Economists, Duke University, June 22, 2008.
- "Optimal Global Health Architecture and Institutions," Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Working Group Meeting 2: Global Health Governance, Washington, D.C., June 26, 2008.
- "Toward a Theory of a Right to Health: Capability and Incompletely Theorized Agreements," International Symposium on Health, Justice and Human Rights, Ritsumeikan University, Japan, March 6, 2008.
- "Health and Global Health Governance: What’s Justice Got to Do with It," 2005 Labelle Lectureship in Health Services Research, McMaster University, Canada, October 20, 2005.
- "Health and Social Justice," Trinity College, University of Cambridge, UK, October 22, 2003.