Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Phoenix Police Collect DNA Samples After Patient In Vegetative State Gives Birth

Police seek staff DNA over vegetative woman's baby Family of woman in vegetative state who gave birth is 'traumatized and in shock'
Ellis Copeland | 13 January, 2019, 04:20

Arizona cops collect clinic staff DNA in hunt for father of comatose woman's baby Police are rounding up the DNA of all male employees of the Arizona healthcare facility where an Apache woman who spent the last 14 years in a vegetative state recently gave birth to a healthy boy.

The woman, who is in her 20s and had been a long-term patient at the Hacienda Healthcare center after suffering an injury that left her in a vegetative state, went into labor on the afternoon of December 29, police spokesman Tommy Thompson said.

A doctor examined an Arizona woman who is in a vegetative state less than nine months before she gave birth, but did not find that she was pregnant, it has emerged.

He said both mother and baby were recovering at a nearby hospital.

"The family would like me to convey that the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for", Phoenix attorney John Micheaels said in a statement.

Hacienda HealthCare says it's cooperating with police and has called the case "deeply disturbing".

A welcome development, according to a statement from Hacienda Healthcare, "We had consulted attorneys to determine whether it would be legal for our company to compel our employees to undergo DNA testing conducted through Hacienda or for Hacienda to conduct voluntary genetic testing of staffers".

PEOPLE reports that the documents state she has been at the Hacienda HealthCare facility for more than 27 years, almost double the length of time that appeared in previous reports.

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A lawyer for the woman's family said they were outraged at the "neglect of their daughter".

'Sadly, one of her caretakers was not to be trusted and took advantage of her. We also know that the CEO who was in charge at the time when she became pregnant and gave birth stepped down on Monday.

"She was not in a position to give consent to any of this", Thompson said.

Founded as Hacienda de Los Angeles in 1967, Hacienda HealthCare describes itself on its website as "the leading provider of specialized medical care and social services for Arizona's infants, children and young adults who are medically fragile or chronically ill, including those with developmental disabilities".

The patient, who has been identified as a 29-year-old Native American woman, has been under the care of the facility since she was between the ages of two or three according to the documents. An anonymous care home source told how the first signs of the woman's pregnancy were her moans as she went into labor.

Hacienda HealthCare has promised to work with authorities and welcomed planned DNA tests of employees.

"Hacienda stands committed to doing everything in our power to bring this police investigation to a quick conclusion". However, according to reports, workers at the care facility where she lives didn't notice the developing pregnancy. Officers launched a sex crime investigation when it was determined the mother was in a vegetative state, police spokesman Tommy Thompson said.

But sexual assault and rape are also about entitlement to women's bodies: Seeing us as vessels for the gratification that comes with sexualized violence.

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