Arizona law enforcement is investigating a possible rape at a Phoenix-based nursing home after a patient in a vegetative state became pregnant and gave birth to a child.
KPHO reports the woman had been in a vegetative state at Hacienda HealthCare for at least 14 years after surviving a near-drowning incident.
Workers were stunned when she gave birth to a healthy baby boy on Dec. 29.
“None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth,” a source familiar with the situation told the news station. “From what I’ve been told, she was moaning. And they didn’t know what was wrong with her. There was a nurse that was there, and from what I heard she’s the one that delivered the baby.”
The staffer, who asked to remain anonymous said the patient required around the clock care, and many had access to her room.
“She had no way to defend herself in this sort of situation?” asked a reporter.
“No. None whatsoever. Not even able to communicate the fact that she was pregnant,” the woman said.
After the incident, health and safety checks were performed on all members living in the facility, according to adult protective services, the news station reported.
The Arizona Department of Health says its actively working with law enforcement in their investigation.
KPHO obtained the following statement from Hacienda HealthCare regarding the incident:
Hacienda Healthcare has been in business in the valley for over 50 years, and has an outstanding reputation providing high quality specialized care for our patients. As a Healthcare provider, we cannot comment on any patient due to Federal and State privacy laws. Additionally, we cannot comment on any ongoing investigations. We can say that our patients and clients health and safety is our #1 priority and that we always cooperate, when asked by any agency, in an open and transparent way.”
The Arizona Department of Health Services provided the following statement.
“We are aware of this situation and are actively working with local law enforcement in their criminal investigation. 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. During this time, the agency has required heightened safety measures be implemented at the facility including increased staff presence during patient interactions, increased monitoring of the patient care areas, and increased security measures with respect to visitors at the facility.”
The Arizona Department of Economic Security also released a statement:
The Department has been made aware of these allegations and we continue to work fully with the Phoenix Police Department in their ongoing investigation. Upon hearing of these allegations, we immediately dispatched a team to conduct health and safety checks on all members residing at this health care facility, which has been completed. We will continue to work to ensure the safety of all our members.”
Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said “the matter is currently under investigation.”