Investigation launched after Arizona woman in vegetative state gives birth

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sunday, 6 January 2019, 8:54AM
Staff had no idea she was pregnant. (Photo / File)
Staff had no idea she was pregnant. (Photo / File)

A sexual assault investigation has been launched after a woman in a vegetative state in a healthcare facility gave birth.

The woman, who is a patient at Hacienda healthCare in Phoenix, US, has been in a vegetative state for 14 years after she nearly drowned.

She gave birth unexpectedly on December 29, 2018 after allegedly being raped at the facility.

Staff noticed she was moaning and realised she was in labour. No members of staff had realised she was pregnant.

"There was a nurse that was there, and from what I've heard she's the one that delivered the baby," a source from inside the facility told KPHO.

As a result of the incident, male staff members wanting to enter the room of a female patient must be accompanied by a female staff member.

The Arizona Department of Health Services has initiated an onsite complaint investigation at the facility.

"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," it said in a statement.

Arizona State Governor Doug Ducey called reports of the situation "deeply troubling".

"We are re-evaluating the state's contract and regulatory authority as it relates to this facility and have been working closely with state agencies to ensure all necessary safety measures are in place," a spokesperson for Mr Ducey said.

The Phoenix Police Department has launched an investigation into how the woman became pregnant.


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