January 6, 2019:
Demand being raised to run DNA tests on male employees at the facility.
Phoenix police on Saturday were investigating reports of a sexual assault after a woman who has been hospitalized in a vegetative state for the past decade gave birth.
The woman, who was incapacitated in a drowning incident, was a patient at Hacienda Healthcare when she went into labour on December 29 & delivered a baby boy, according to local media. No one knew she was pregnant & healthcare staff were initially unsure why she was moaning, the reports said.
“This matter is currently under investigation by the Phoenix Police Department,” Sergeant Tommy Thompson told Reuters when asked about the media reports.
Hacienda spokesman David Leibowitz said the facility had recently become aware of a “deeply disturbing incident” involving one of its residents.
He declined to say whether its staff were being asked to undergo DNA testing to identify a possible suspect, or whether the facility was taking any preventative measures to protect patients against a similar situation.
“While federal & state privacy laws prohibit us from publicly discussing a patient’s health or case, Hacienda has & will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement & all the relevant regulatory agencies regarding this matter,” Leibowitz said by email.
Victim advocate Tasha Menaker, chief strategy officer of the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual & Domestic Violence, said it would be appropriate for police to run DNA tests on male employees at the facility.
Hacienda HealthCare describes itself as Arizona’s leading provider of specialized health care services for medically fragile & chronically ill infants, children, teens, & young adults as well as those with intellectual & developmental disabilities.
A spokesman for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said the reports were “deeply troubling” & that the state was re-evaluating its contract & regulatory authority over Hacienda Healthcare to tighten up patient safety measures.