Male workers face DNA testing after comatose woman had baby
PHOENIX (AP) — Police have served a search warrant to get DNA from all male employees at a long-term care facility in Phoenix where a patient in a vegetative state for years gave birth, triggering reviews by state agencies and highlighting safety concerns for severely disabled or incapacitated patients.
Hacienda HealthCare owns the facility and said Tuesday that it welcomed the testing.
“We will continue to cooperate with Phoenix police and all other investigative agencies to uncover the facts in this deeply disturbing, but unprecedented situation,” the company said in a statement.
Local news website Azfamily.com first reported the woman, who had been in a vegetative state for more than 10 years after a near-drowning, delivered a baby on December 29, 2018.
It’s unclear if staff members at the facility were aware of her pregnancy until the birth.
Officials with the San Carlos Apache tribe of southeastern Arizona said the 29-year-old woman was an enrolled tribal member.
“On behalf of the tribe, I am deeply shocked and horrified at the treatment of one of our members,” tribal chairman Terry Rambler said.
“When you have a loved one committed to palliative care, when they are most vulnerable and dependent upon others, you trust their caretakers. Sadly, one of her caretakers was not to be trusted and took advantage of her. It is my hope that justice will be served.”