Two doctors who led the care for a patient in a vegetative state who became pregnant are no longer working at Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix, Arizona.
According to CNN, Hacienda HealthCare announced on Monday that one of the doctors was suspended and another doctor quit. The facility did not identify the doctors or provide any details about them. The CNN report indicates the news station has learned the identity of the 29-year-old patient, but has declined to identify her as she is a victim of sexual assault.
The patient, who is reportedly severely disabled, gave birth on December 29. Staff at Hacienda HealthCare reportedly claimed they had no idea the patient was pregnant until she went into labor. The baby, reportedly a boy, appeared to have respiratory difficulties immediately after the birth but he survived and is believed to be in the care of the woman’s family.
Details about the patient’s condition have been conflicting and varied since the news of the pregnancy first broke earlier this month. It appears that the woman has been at the facility since she was a toddler, and numerous reports have said that she suffered a near-drowning incident. Although the patient appears to be severely incapacitated, her attorney gave an interview late last week claiming that she is not comatose and is not completely immobile. The attorney said that while she cannot speak, she can recognize visiting family members.
As CNN reports, Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson has said that the patient was incapacitated.
“This woman was unable to move, she was unable to communicate. In other words, she was helpless … This started as a sexual assault investigation from day one.”
Phoenix police have issued a warrant for DNA samples of male staffers at the nursing facility. It is not known if the suspension or the resignation have anything to do with the DNA evidence.
Hacienda HealthCare issued a statement with the announcement of the resignations, obtained by CNN.
“Once again, we offer an apology and send our deepest sympathy to the client and her family. Hacienda intends to do everything possible to restore its credibility in the eyes of our patients, families, the community and our agency partners at every level.”
CrimeOnline will continue to update this developing story.