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Ezekiel Emanuel: Ethics of Healthcare


The Wharton School
Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor

Ezekiel J. Emanuel is Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. From January 2009 to January 2011, he served as special advisor for health policy to the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Since 1997 he was chair of the Department of Bioethics at The Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health and a breast oncologist. Dr. Emanuel received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in political philosophy from Harvard University. After completing his internship and residency in internal medicine at Boston's Beth Israel Hospital and his oncology fellowship at the DanaFarber Cancer Institute, he joined the faculty at the DanaFarber Cancer Institute. He has since been a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UCLA, the Brin Professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School, and the Kovitz Professor at Stanford Medical School and visiting professor at New York University Law School. Dr. Emanuel has written and edited 9 books and over 200 scientific articles. He is currently a columnist for the New York Times.

Past Courses


This course will provide students a broad overview of the current U.S. healthcare system. The course will focus on the challenges facing the health care system, an indepth understanding of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and of its potential impact upon health care access, delivery, cost, and quality as well as its effect on firms within the health care sector. The course will examine potential reforms, including those offered by liberals and conservatives and information that can be extracted from health care systems in other developed countries. ,The course will also explore key facets of the ACA, including improving access to care and health insurance exchanges, improving quality and constraining costs through health care delivery system reforms, realigning capacity through changes in the health care workforce and in medical education, the potential impact on biomedical and other innovations, and the impact on economic outcomes such as employment, wage growth, and federal budget deficits. The course will also examine the political context and process of passing major legislation in general and health care legislation in particular, including constitutional arguments surrounding the Affordable Care Act. Throughout the course, the key lessons will integrate the disciplines of health economics, health and social policy, law and political science to elucidate key principles.

Knowledge @ Wharton

  • Twelve Innovative Ideas for Fixing American Health Care, Knowledge @ Wharton 06/22/2017
  • Tackling Tough Decisions in Endoflife Scenarios, Knowledge @ Wharton 02/09/2015
  • Hospital Advertising: Good Business, or Time to Pull the Plug?, Knowledge @ Wharton 09/24/2014
  • Beyond Ebola: What’s Needed to Combat the Next Outbreak, Knowledge @ Wharton 09/03/2014
  • Do MOOCs Upend Traditional Business Education?, Knowledge @ Wharton 06/03/2014
  • Ezekiel Emanuel on ‘Reinventing American Health Care’, Knowledge @ Wharton 03/11/2014
  • Marketing Health Exchanges: Can Paul Bunyan and the Red Sox Help?, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/09/2013
  • Medical Innovation: When Do the Costs Outweigh the Benefits?, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/02/2013

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