Health Care

Families of patients demand answers following woman in vegetative state giving birth

Families of patients demand answers following woman in vegetative state giving birth”

Phoenix, Arizona police have launched an investigation after the unnamed patient, described by Arizona's Family as a 29-year-old Native American woman, gave birth to a baby boy on December 29.

Police served the long-term care facility with a search warrant on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.

The woman, being in a vegetative state, has no means of defending herself or even letting people know she was pregnant. Upon learning of the allegation, Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) immediately initiated an onsite complaint investigation to ensure the health and safety of the patients and ensure the facility is in compliance with all state laws and regulations.

Since the news of the incident broke, parents of patients at the Phoenix-based health care facility have come forward, expressing their concerns.

Hacienda HealthCare's chief executive, Bill Timmons, stepped down on Monday, spokesman David Leibowitz said.

Healthcare staff were unaware she was pregnant until she was already giving birth - noticing when she started "moaning".

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said he'd been briefed on the situation and called the "reports deeply troubling".

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Alejandro Benally, Chief of the San Carlos Apache Police Department said, "At this point, this matter falls under the jurisdiction of the Phoenix Police Department".

Gary Orman, the executive vice president of the facility's board, said in a statement to HuffPost that Hacienda HealthCare "will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation, an unprecedented case that has devastated everyone involved, from the victim and her family to Hacienda staff at every level of our organization".

The Hacienda facility serves infants, children and young adults who are "medically fragile" or have developmental disabilities, according to its website.

In the statement, the lawyer, identified as John Michaels, said the family is "outraged, traumatized, and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter at Hacienda Healthcare".

The state department of economic security dispatched a team to conduct health and safety checks at the facility, and the department of health services has beefed up safety measures: more staff, increased monitoring and stronger security.

"Whether it's an employee or someone from the outside, the facility has an obligation to protect residents". The incident is being investigated as a sexual assault. In addition, officials said they have consulted attorneys to determine whether it would be legal for the company to compel its employees to undergo DNA testing through Hacienda, or for the company to conduct voluntary genetic testing of staffers. "I stay in her room", Cesena told As It Happens host Carol Off.

"We're not going to point out who we've obtained DNA from or who we intend to get DNA from", he said. "I haven't been able to sleep good at night because of what occurred here", another mother, Angela Gomez said.



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