Facility's CEO resigns after vegetative patient gives birth

Grant Boone
January 11, 2019

Hacienda HealthCare says investigators served a warrant Tuesday, asking for DNA samples from male employees. "We will continue to cooperate with Phoenix Police and all other other investigative agencies to uncover the facts in this deeply disturbing, but unprecedented situation".

On Dec. 29, with help from one of the facility's nurses, the patient gave birth to a healthy baby boy, KPHO reported.

The woman has not been named but she's been described as a 29-year-old Native American woman who has been in a vegetative state for 14 years after almost drowning.

Since the woman, whose name is being withheld, would've been unable to consent to sexual intercourse, Arizona police have launched a sexual-abuse investigation.

The 29-year-old, who is a patient at the centre which cares for people with intellectual disabilities, unexpectedly gave birth on December 29.

The clinic's chief executive Bill Timmons has now resigned, with his departure unanimously approved by Hacienda HealthCare's board of directors, a company spokesman said. According to the local station's unidentified source, the facility staff had no idea the patient was pregnant until she began moaning as she went into labor.

Social media was flooded with outrage over why police will not call the investigation of a woman in a vegetative state being impregnated, then giving birth a sex crime.

The news has been described as "deeply troubling" by a representative for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.

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Phoenix police say the matter is under investigation and decline further comment.

Gary Orman, executive vice president of Hacienda HealthCare, said the company would "accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation".

A male patient also complained several staff members walked in on him while he was naked and showering with the assistance of a female member of staff in December 2017, according to records from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The department of health ordered Hacienda to implement "heightened safety measures", spokeswoman Melissa Blasius-Nuanez said. Because he says without saying anything, they're creating distrust in the community, and with no suspect caught, police should want people to know what's going on, and to come forward if they know something.

The woman had been raped multiple times while being cared for at the Arizona centre, reports AzFamily.com.

"Our nation is very much in denial about how widespread the problem of sexual abuse is - especially when you have a population that does not fit the mainstream criteria as a sexual being", Kristen Houser, spokesperson for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, told Vox. "But I can't believe someone receiving that level of constant care wasn't recognized as being pregnant prior to the time she delivered".

"What do we know about the baby?" asked Whitney.

"I wasn't there. I clearly don't have firsthand knowledge of what happened", Meyers said. "We really need a lot of work in this area".

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