Category: 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.