Clinic boss quits after patient in vegetative state gives birth

Desiree Burns
January 12, 2019

A Phoenix Police Department spokesman, Sgt. Tommy Thompson, said only that the "the matter is under investigation". The female patient has been in a vegetative state for more than a decade. "It is my hope that justice will be served".

A spokesman for Hacienda HealthCare said police investigators served a search warrant today to obtain DNA from all male staffers.

The Hacienda HealthCare company's CEO Bill Timmons resigned from his position after news of the sexual assault went public.

Hacienda also announced that all male employees would have to have a female employee accompany them when visiting a female patient's room. "The family would like me to convey that the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for".

She said: "I was scared".

Hacienda said that it had considered asking employees for DNA but that attorneys advised against it, believing it would violate federal law. None of the employees at the hospital were aware that she was pregnant. Police are conducting a criminal investigation but have, as yet, declined to share any details, though local media have reported that subpoenas for DNA samples may be forthcoming.

In a statement, Hacienda said Board Executive Vice President Gary Orman vowed that Hacienda "will accept 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 organization". Her identity hasn't been reported, and it's not known if she has family or a guardian.

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Since the news of the incident broke, parents of patients at the Phoenix-based health care facility have come forward, expressing their concerns.

The facility, which has room for over 50 patients, is now under investigation by police and the Arizona Department of Health Services.

On its website, Hacienda HealthCare says it provides care for "medically fragile and chronically ill infants, children, teens, and young adults as well as those with intellectual and developmental disabilities". The Arizona department of health services has said new safety measures have been implemented.

She demands 24-hour care, indicating that numerous facility's staff would have access to her room, as she is incapable of any communication or voluntary movement.

The source also said that Hacienda does not have cameras inside the hallways or rooms of the facility: the rape or sexual assault that happened was not recorded. But one complaint from December 2013 outlines an allegation that a staff member made inappropriate sexual comments about four patients two months earlier.

That staff member was ultimately terminated, but the state found that the facility "failed to ensure clients. were treated with dignity".

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