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Missionary with bogus medical practice linked to deaths of Ugandan children


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19 hours ago, DarkAnts said:

Read the second slide. It's a letter from her church addressing the fact that she practiced medicine without a license. They state thet they don't think she should be punished for this. 

No, they don't think she should be punished. But it sounds like they admit that she did what she has been accused of:  practiced medicine without a iicense, experience in the field or even knowledge of medicine.

I think the church is trying to protect itself.

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Renee's bestie, Katie isn't much better.

"...most days, I don't have much of a plan"?

Yikes!

 

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11 hours ago, Dreadcrumbs said:

Renee's bestie, Katie isn't much better.

"...most days, I don't have much of a plan"?

Yikes!

 

WTAF? Who puts a 20 year old in charge of care for that many children? 

I was watching "Call the Midwife", and one of the characters was doing midwifery because she felt called to go to Africa and work there (series is set in 1950s UK). So she'd studied nursing, had worked in different parts of the hospital and was adding midwidery training and experience so she would have the broadest skill range possible to work in bush hospitals without a lot of resources but with diverse cases coming in. And honestly I cannot understand why anyone would support a 20 year - called by God or not - with no useful training or experience to go anywhere on the planet to set up their own program when there are NGOs already in place doing a better job (and often using as many local staff as possible) who they could support instead. Gah.

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On 6/21/2019 at 11:52 AM, ViolaSebastian said:

I listened to BTB this morning...I almost shrieked when they talked about how she would Skype doctors in the states for their opinions on what she would do. Every single one of those doctors needs their license revoked and they need to be prosecuted for being an accessories to murders. 

Do we know if the doctors knew she was unlicensed? My thought is that she must have presented herself as "Dr. Renee Bach working at _________ Medical Facility in Jinja, Uganda" and they agreed to a pro bono consult over Skype/phone. Especially if there were multiple MDs and it wasn't always the same doctor. I could maybe see her finding one fundie 'white savior' doctor that shared the belief that the children getting some care from anyone is better than none but not multiple and her just happening to pick those doctors by chance.

I don't think I've ever had another psychologist or medical doctor ask me for my license number (back in Australia) or my supervisor's license number when I have made contact for a consult on an unusual case or for a study I was working on. I usually tell them who I am, my job title/role, and where I work, why I specifically contacted them (usually due to doing my own research and knowing they have a speciality in exactly what I'm trying to work out), and then share some pertinent facts of the case (deidentified obviously), and ask my question. They usually answer/discuss and maybe email me some documents they have that could help me or maybe treatment manuals they've developed for their own research etc.

Most health professionals are very busy and really don't have the time to look up everyone's credentials. I'm not sure they would tell you how to do a procedure just over the phone because it would be a red flag they are not talking to someone with the necessary training. But I could see them giving general information or referring you to the latest research or answering one very nuanced and specific question without checking credentials as they'd be using information already in the public sphere in a way that requires expertise. Those doctors might be the victims of fraud here too although I'm sure they wouldn't equate their interaction with R.B. to that of the families that lost children :(  

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I have followed one of the commenters on NWS who witnessed a lot of this for some time. She first came to my attention when I donated to her GoFundMe for money to aid in the family reunification of her foster child in Jinga (the child and family are Ugandan citizens). The little girl's family were unable to afford the care she needed and I think they took her to an orphanage. But instead of adopting her, she cared for this child like a daughter for a long period and set about the process of finding the family, gradually increasing their time with her so it wouldn't be traumatic for the child, and assisting the family so raising their child was financially sustainable. So many white Americans seemed shocked that she wasn't trying to adopt the child she clearly loves so deeply but she was forthright in saying that it is best for a child to grow up with their family and in their culture. When the little girl was home with her family for good, it made me cry tears of joy and sadness all at once. Mostly joy but having had my own foster kids go back after 3 years, there is a grief there even when it is the right thing and I empathized so much. 

Her strength and integrity were inspiring to me when her story was shared with me. While I do not know her personally, I believe what she says completely about Renee Bach. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

This story has been haunting me lately, and others like it. It seems that so many of the people who put themselves forward as heroes are then revealed to be villains in some way. I'm thinking also of that tragedy of the seemingly progressive and inspiring adoptive parents who then drove their family off a cliff when they were about to be revealed as abusive. People who are seen superficially as being not just good, but good to an EXTREME, a very visible and admired extreme, then their badness revealed.

It could just be that the stories with that kind of twist are more memorable than stories without. I don't want to become cynical; the world needs good people. But I do think that most good isn't done in a heroic, extreme way. Most good is cumulative, and the work of many either together or in sequence. I see so, so much good in the world, but it's good where each individual has a piece of it. In this story, Renee Bach had given herself a starring role. It wasn't enough for her to support or join an organization and be a piece of good work; she founded something and made herself the star.

I think about this stuff because I used to wish to be heroically good. It would just feel so safe, y'know? How could anyone hate you if you were SO GOOD? I still want to be good, but I'm no longer wishing to be a hero or star. I'm trying to retrain myself to recognize a different ideal, one that admires truly effective teamwork rather than grand gestures.

Just adding that sometimes grand gestures are in fact necessary and individual, like rescuing someone from a burning building, that sort of thing. But those kind of things are also very BRIEF. They happen in a specific time and are done. You can be a hero in the moment, but as a lifestyle and identity it isn't sustainable.

I have a big birthday in a few months and I've been working on my worldview. FreeJinger has been a good place to figure some stuff out ? 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/2/2019 at 1:13 AM, Ozlsn said:

And honestly I cannot understand why anyone would support a 20 year - called by God or not - with no useful training or experience to go anywhere on the planet to set up their own program when there are NGOs already in place doing a better job (and often using as many local staff as possible) who they could support instead. Gah.

I am pretty sure God only calls trained and credentialed doctors to act as doctors.

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Yes,  I listened to the NPR piece yesterday.  She was called out as a liar when she said hospitals turned away these severely malnourished children. In fact, there was a large hospital with a specialty ward specifically set up to address the complex medical and nutritional needs of severely malnourished children.  

 

 

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The story has many legs now, and has been amplified through being told on major media platforms. This is good. Not only do I hope that Renee Bach is brought to justice, but I hope that this widespread coverage also stops these bogus-ass "missionary" activities in general.

In addition, I hope that this causes real medical professionals -- like the RN in the NPR story -- to quit enabling these fraudulent "missions" in the name of Christian service. Credit to the RN for removing herself from Bach's "clinic" once she realized how bad things were, but really, why would someone who is an RN (or PA or MD) even go there in the first place without being sure it was a bona fide facility?

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6 hours ago, hoipolloi said:

In addition, I hope that this causes real medical professionals -- like the RN in the NPR story -- to quit enabling these fraudulent "missions" in the name of Christian service. Credit to the RN for removing herself from Bach's "clinic" once she realized how bad things were, but really, why would someone who is an RN (or PA or MD) even go there in the first place without being sure it was a bona fide facility?

TBH they did not research or thought that because their church supported it the mission was legit?   What stinks is actual healthcare done by actual medical professionals (Doctors, RN, PA) is now a problem.

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We need platforms like NPR to report on this even more now. Instagram and Medium are wimping out.

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If this similar story is any indication https://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-pn-teen-doctor-plea-deal-20180104-story.html  , https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/doctor-deception-how-florida-teen-allegedly-faked-being-m-d-n531726  ,  she should be going to prison for years .  And the other case also involved a homeschooled fundagelical , incedentally .  https://heavy.com/news/2016/02/malachi-love-robinson/

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@Marmion In a fair world, we could be sure of her heading off to prison for this. But when it's a white missionary playing doctor on black Africans, it's not that certain.

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The comments under the Patheos article really make me think. Some of the more extreme points of view criticize the concept of white people/Christians/westerners helping people in other cultures as inherently bad, because of the colonialist/paternalist/evangelical nature of it. But that can devolve into an excuse for passivity and selfishness, not helping/sharing at all.

I'd like to hear from people how they evaluate effectiveness and true helpfulness in charity. This is not just an academic question for me, as we work with a charitable foundation that distributes money to projects all over the world and we help make those decisions. The foundation is constrained by US tax law to only give to US 501c3 entities, so giving directly to local charity is not an option (though US organizations we work with do work with local groups, so in a way we do reach locally too). Over the years we've had good experiences and disappointing experiences with the work the money has supported, and my personal priorities have evolved.

To me, a charity that is motivated by a Christian basis to help others is different from a charity that is motivated by evangelising. So I'm not put off by religious organizations per se (and indeed am religious myself).

I'd love to hear how people here evaluate charitable work. The fact is, the US and Europe, in many ways white-dominated and Christian-dominated, have resources and expertise that can be put to good use outside of the western bubble. How to share those resources and expertise truly effectively and without condescension?

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39 minutes ago, Petronella said:

The comments under the Patheos article really make me think. Some of the more extreme points of view criticize the concept of white people/Christians/westerners helping people in other cultures as inherently bad, because of the colonialist/paternalist/evangelical nature of it. But that can devolve into an excuse for passivity and selfishness, not helping/sharing at all.

I'd like to hear from people how they evaluate effectiveness and true helpfulness in charity. This is not just an academic question for me, as we work with a charitable foundation that distributes money to projects all over the world and we help make those decisions. The foundation is constrained by US tax law to only give to US 501c3 entities, so giving directly to local charity is not an option (though US organizations we work with do work with local groups, so in a way we do reach locally too). Over the years we've had good experiences and disappointing experiences with the work the money has supported, and my personal priorities have evolved.

To me, a charity that is motivated by a Christian basis to help others is different from a charity that is motivated by evangelising. So I'm not put off by religious organizations per se (and indeed am religious myself).

I'd love to hear how people here evaluate charitable work. The fact is, the US and Europe, in many ways white-dominated and Christian-dominated, have resources and expertise that can be put to good use outside of the western bubble. How to share those resources and expertise truly effectively and without condescension?

I have a lot of thoughts about this, I'll try to focus on the most important ones:

I don't have a problem with charitable work done in the global south if it doesn't involve people seeking to proselytize, chase clout, and keep people dependent on help from abroad. 

Helping a village build a well because it's a good thing to do and will have a long term impact? Great! Not so great? doing a thing/giving a thing but not teaching the people you're supposed to be helping how do things/make things.

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To no one in particular, just anyone who might be interested - watch the documentary Poverty, Inc. (I think it's currently on amazon prime).  It addresses this topic and many more.

NGO's often (most of the time?) do more harm than good.  Businesses and start-ups in third-world countries need *partnerships* - then get the hell out of their way and let them work!

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I asked No white Saviors for a list of charities that are good. I also asked about specific charities like afripads. They have not responded to either request specifically. It's frustrating because they make it seem like all help from white people is  white savior help. Afripads give reusable mensural pads to women and  girls in Africa. They are made by women in Africa. How is this white savior help? 

 

I donate disposable products to the local homeless shelters because the women don't have access to facilities to was reusable products. Afripads uses reusable products because many African villages dont have the landfill system we have here. I personally use reusable products. They are more comfortable and provide better coverage.

Edited by DarkAnts
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I think that US based charities working in developing countries can do a lot of good If:

* they are respectful of the culture and history of the place where they are doing charity and the care they offer should meet local needs not some "western" idea of what is needed

* they don't proselytize 

* the long term goal should be to train local people to take over the local management and to make the decisions regarding future works. 

* the care must be done by properly trained people ie real doctors, real nurses and must meet local laws

 

I realize that these rules eliminate most (? all) fundamentalist "outreaches" as their goal seems to be their own glorification and pushing their religion rather than helping.

Edited by browngrl
more stuff to say
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I would guess that NWS probably has a lot of media inquiries right now; their "organizations that are getting it right" page isn't working for me right now but there are a number of other sites like GiveWell that have lists. A search for "ethical international charities" brought up a lot of results.

l think the general recommendation is to give money directly to people in countries that need it, rather than trying to travel and insert yourself in overseas work. The exception would be people like Doctors Without Borders who have genuinely valuable skills and travel to places where natural disasters, etc have made it difficult to source these services locally.

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I support American Jewish World Service. You can't tell their approach from the name, but I think they get the balance on these issues just about right.

The Jewish part entails being motivated by Jewish values, raising money from American Jews, and organizing American Jews to see fighting global poverty as important. The actual work they do is making grants to grassroots human rights organizations that already exist and are run by local people. They give significant amounts of money in a predictable way over multiple years, allowing organizations to grow their impact. And they support conferences & collaborations between organizations so that they can learn best practices from one another.

https://ajws.org/who-we-are/our-story/

https://ajws.org/our-impact/

I like that the role of the Americans is to raise money and to give it out to organizations that are already doing the work, already understand local priorities, and are already run by local leaders. AJWS are the middlemen, in a good way.

 

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21 hours ago, SusanAtTheLastBattle said:

I support American Jewish World Service. You can't tell their approach from the name, but I think they get the balance on these issues just about right.

The Jewish part entails being motivated by Jewish values, raising money from American Jews, and organizing American Jews to see fighting global poverty as important. The actual work they do is making grants to grassroots human rights organizations that already exist and are run by local people. They give significant amounts of money in a predictable way over multiple years, allowing organizations to grow their impact. And they support conferences & collaborations between organizations so that they can learn best practices from one another.

https://ajws.org/who-we-are/our-story/

https://ajws.org/our-impact/

I like that the role of the Americans is to raise money and to give it out to organizations that are already doing the work, already understand local priorities, and are already run by local leaders. AJWS are the middlemen, in a good way.

 

I do the American Friends Service Committee. Their focus is on social and economic justice. 

 https://www.afsc.org/

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42 minutes ago, Sobeknofret said:

I do the American Friends Service Committee. Their focus is on social and economic justice. 

 https://www.afsc.org/

They seem wonderful too! I like their emphasis on policy change.

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  • 7 months later...

An article from the New Yorker came out recently on this case. I know I eviscerated Renee Bach as much as anyone else but there is some evidence that she maybe wasn't playing doctor as much as some have said, although there is still a whole lot of wrong. It definitely goes deeper into the complexities of the issues surrounding this case, and white saviorism in general. Ariel Levy is a journalist I very much admire, I have alerts set on MuckRack and follow her on Twitter so I can read her stuff when it comes out, and I'm still processing this one. I'll probably need to read it again tomorrow before having cogent thoughts worth sharing.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/04/13/a-missionary-on-trial

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