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Good medical ethics, justice and provincial globalism
  1. Jennifer Prah Ruger
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jennifer Prah Ruger, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 3401 Market Street, Suite 320, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3319, USA; jenpr{at}


The summer 2014 Ebola virus outbreak in Western Africa illustrates global health's striking inequalities. Globalisation has also increased pandemics, and disparate health system conditions mean that where one falls ill or is injured in the world can mean the difference between quality care, substandard care or no care at all, between full recovery, permanent ill effects and death. Yet attention to the normative underpinnings of global health justice and distribution remains, despite some important exceptions, inadequate in medical ethics, bioethics and political philosophy. We need a theoretical foundation on which to build a more just world. Provincial globalism (PG), grounded in capability theory, offers a foundation; it provides the components of a global health justice framework that can guide implementation. Under PG, all persons possess certain health entitlements. Global health justice requires progressively securing this health capabilities threshold for every person.

  • Distributive Justice
  • International Affairs
  • Political Philosophy
  • Right to Healthcare
  • Public Policy
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