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

A Phoenix police spokesman told The Washington Post that the department is investigating but did not release details about the case.							Getty Images

Since the birth, Hacienda has placed a policy of requiring female employees to accompany male employees to female patients' rooms, most likely pushed forward by the Arizona Department of Health Services, which said in a statement that it has implemented "heightened safety measures" that include "increased staff presence during patient interactions as well as surveillance of patient care locations".

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

Azfamily.com first reported that the woman, in a vegetative state after a near-drowning, delivered a baby on 29 December.

A near-drowning had left the woman in a persistent vegetative state for almost a decade.

The woman had been a patient at the Phoenix facility for years after nearly drowning, according to azfamily.com, which broke the story; police declined to provide NPR with details about their investigation.

A woman who gave birth in a vegetative state was reportedly raped several times.

The birth has triggered a police investigation and reviews by state agencies.

Governor Doug Ducey's office issued a statement Friday afternoon, almost 24 hours after Arizona's Family first broke the story.

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He said: "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 organisation".

The council recently formed a task force to look at how to improve training for health care workers when it comes to identifying and reporting sexual abuse.

In one case, the Arizona Department of Health Services cited the company in 2017 for an incident in which a certified nursing assistant walked in on a male patient while he was showering.

The state's online complaint database for care facilities shows multiple complaints about Hacienda de Los Angeles going back to 2013. That employee was later fired.

"The Department has been made aware of these allegations and we continue to work fully with the Phoenix Police Department in their ongoing investigation". 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.

"We're just trying to get more information. We also don't have required training for providers", McFadden said.

Jon Meyers, executive director of The Arc of Arizona, an advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, called the allegations "disturbing, to put it mildly".

"I wasn't there", Meyers said. "I haven't been able to sleep well at night because of what occurred here", a mother, Angela Gomez, told CBS.

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