Sexual assault investigation launched in Arizona after vegetative patient gives birth

Hacienda HealthCare

The Hacienda HealthCare facility near Phoenix. Image: Google

Saturday, January 5, 2019

A sexual assault investigation has been launched after reports that a woman who had been in a vegetative state for over a decade gave birth at an Arizona nursing home.

The female patient was receiving 24-hour care at the facility run by Hacienda HealthCare near Phoenix, after almost drowning more than 10 years ago.

Hacienda HealthCare said in a statement that it was aware of a "deeply disturbing incident" involving "the health and safety of a Hacienda resident", but did not give any further details.

It added that it would be fully co-operating with the authorities.

A source at the nursing home told local television station KPHO that "none of the staff" were aware the patient was pregnant until "she was pretty much giving birth".


'From what I know the baby is alive'

"From what I know the baby is alive, and the baby is healthy," the source added.

Protocol had been changed at the nursing home, which meant men had to be accompanied by a woman when entering the room of a female patient, the source claimed.

According to reports, the patient's condition meant she would not have been able to communicate to carers that she was pregnant or had been a victim of abuse.

Hacienda HealthCare says on its website that it provides care for "medically fragile and chronically ill infants, children, teens, and young adults as well as those with intellectual and developmental disabilities".