Dying in America

Exploring the Medicine, Policy, and Ethics Behind End-of-Life Care


Washington, D.C.

The choices we make determine how we live and how we die, but how much is truly up to us? How do the policies in place affect our final days, and how do ethics influence those policies? In 2017, Washington, D.C. became the sixth jurisdiction in the United States to pass an assisted dying statute, which effectively legalized physician-assisted suicide. The controversial Death with Dignity Act allows physicians to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to terminally ill patients. On this trip, we will delve into the complexities that influence how we live out our final days by exploring palliative care and meeting with advocate groups and community partners. We will look at how hospice facilities care for their patients, analyze the politics behind physician-assisted suicide, and discuss the ethics that influence our choices and beliefs. This trip will give us more insight into what it is actually like to reach the end of one's life in the United States of America.



Trip Leader Carolyn GuanCarolyn Guan '20


Carolyn is a junior chemistry major from Dallas, Texas pursuing a global health policy certificate. On campus, she participates in Triple8 Dance Company, tutors with McGraw, and volunteers through the PACE center. You can probably find her in Frist or Firestone procrastinating on work. She is so excited to meet y’all and go on this trip!



Trip Leader Josue Chirinos Josue Chirinos '20

Josue is a pre-med junior in the Molecular Biology department pursuing a GHP certificate. He is a proud first-generation high school graduate/ college student, and on campus he volunteers for Ascend Hospice, serves as a PAA for Mathey, and leads SAT prep courses for underrepresented high school students. In his free time, he enjoys devouring large pepperoni pizzas from Papa John's and watching NFL games (Go Pack Go!!!).