Category: Journalistic Reporting

2018, Journalistic Reporting

An Integrative Education: Georgetown’s Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program Sparks Debate


The Georgetown University Medical Center’s MS in Physiology focusing on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program has come under fire from ‘science-based medicine’ advocates for teaching practices that they consider quackery and pseudo-science. This article investigates the arguments made by both proponents and opponents of the program. The article was originally published in print and online by The Georgetown Voice on February 9, 2018.

2018, Journalistic Reporting

Reflecting On My Grandmother’s Death


This work was inspired by my grandmother, Luybov Kapuza, who recently ended her battle with Alzheimer’s. Through watching my grandmother suffer, I developed strong views on several bioethical topics, the most prominent of which was euthanasia. 

This work was explaining the way my grandmother lived and died, and presenting an alternative scenario. It makes the case that one cause is more ethical than the other. Doctors swear to uphold ethics—do no harm—but we still question when doing nothing is taking the most harmful path? For this reason, euthanasia is an essential issue to bring up in the case of medical or bioethics. What should doctors do when presented with a case that is sure to deteriorate and have no measurable quality of life?

I felt that presenting a real-life case—the case of my grandmother and her family as she deteriorated—would demonstrate best my argument that euthanasia is a humane decision for doctors to make, pushing the bioethical debate and also stressing its importance.

2018, Journalistic Reporting

Reconciling Drug Use With Ethics and Religion


As a Jesuit university, Georgetown has always had a strong connection to religious traditions and ethics. But the question of how drug use and religion intersect causes confusion for many young people on campus. This article interrogates different religious traditions and their views on drug use, in addition to interviewing students and presenting their experiences on the intersection between spiritual belief and recreational substance use.

2018, Journalistic Reporting

The American Canaries of WWI: How the US Conducted Fatal Chemical Weapon Tests on US Soldiers


Since learning about Henrietta Lacks and the Tuskegee Experiments, I’ve always been interested in exploring the accounts of bad medicine, bad science, and at-risk communities. The power dynamics between doctors/scientists and their patient can have long-term effects on the health of an individual and their community (eg. black women’s pain is severely underestimated compared to their non-black counterparts). However, the American University Experiment Station (AUES) chemical weapons testing presented an interesting situation outside my typical interest, in which the uneven power dynamic was between commanding officers, scientists, and the soldiers (mainly male and white) who worked beneath them. None of these soldiers were ever forced into experimentation, but they volunteered seemingly unaware of the danger of these new chemical weapons. It was patriotic to volunteer, but the dangers of such experiments were made out to be underwhelming or less dangerous than they actually were. Perhaps the most chilling discovery of all my research was when one DC newspaper wrote that “The time for the ethical discussion of chemical weapons is now over”. It implied that during wartime, ethics could take a backseat until the danger had passed–ethical considerations seemed to hinder patriotic duty. I grew uncomfortable with this idea that ethical considerations could be suspended (even during wartime), and sought to reconcile this discomfort with thorough research about the former chemical weapons test site.

1st Place – Journalistic Reporting

2017, Journalistic Reporting

Beyond Good Intentions: Why Attitudes Matter on International Medical Service Trips


The volunteer abroad industry has rapidly expanded in recent years, with some estimating the net worth of the industry to be upwards of $173 billion a year (The Wilson Quarterly). With tens of thousands of volunteers, including thousands of pre-health college students, volunteering abroad a year, it is important to be aware of the ethical impacts of the ever-growing field of “voluntourism”.

In this brief editorial, I advocate that pre-health students ought to adopt an attitudes-based framework to discern if an international medical service trip is ethically permissible. After a reflection of my own experience as an international volunteer, I examine the ways in which international medical service trips benefit and harm volunteers and community members. I argue that the qualities of “excellence” and “humility” are crucial for students to consider when searching for an international medical service trip, if they decide to participate on one. I include an framework of some questions students should ask when evaluating international medical service trips.


2017, Journalistic Reporting

End of Life Care in the District: Campus Reacts to Death With Dignity Act


The District of Columbia recently passed the Death with Dignity Act, a local statute that allows terminally ill patients to end their own lives. This law is controversial, especially with Catholics interested in bioethics. Because of Georgetown’s strong Catholic identity, several groups and institutions on the Hilltop have had to consider the implications of the law. This article investigates these considerations. The article was originally published in print and online by The Georgetown Voice on March 17, 2017.


2017, Journalistic Reporting

Stereotypes and Inspiration Pornography: A Love Story


Plastered on the walls of my middle school’s hallways were posters of people in wheelchairs and athletes with prosthetic legs. The wording of all the posters were surely meant to be encouraging, but it also reduced the people with disabilities to nothing but pieces of motivation. Throughout high school and even in college, I continually noticed this objectification of people with disabilities as merely inspiration poster children. Last fall, after seeing yet another, “If HE can do, so can you!” picture on Facebook, I felt compelled to speak up. This op-ed is an expression of my frustration towards — as well as an urge to change — our culture of inspiration pornography.