rain.png
Tuesday February 25th, 2020 3:34AM

Male workers face DNA testing after comatose woman had baby

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

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 Dec. 29.

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."

San Carlos Apache Police Chief Alejandro Benally said Phoenix police "will do all they can to find the perpetrator."

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

"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.

A spokesman for Hacienda HealthCare, David Leibowitz, said investigators served a search warrant Tuesday to obtain DNA samples from all male staffers — a day after company CEO Bill Timmons stepped down.

Board member Gary Orman said the facility "will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation."

"We will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of every single one of our patients and our employees," Orman said in a statement.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's office has called the situation "deeply troubling." Phoenix police so far have declined to comment.

The Hacienda facility serves infants, children and young adults who are "medically fragile" or have developmental disabilities, according to its website.

After the reports, the Arizona Department of Health Services said new safety measures have been implemented, including increased staff presence during any patient interaction, more monitoring of patient care areas and additional security measures involving visitors.

The state's online complaint database for care facilities shows multiple complaints about the Hacienda center going back to 2013. Most of them involve fire drill and evacuation preparation or Medicaid eligibility.

But one complaint from December 2013 outlines an allegation that a staff member made inappropriate sexual comments about four patients two months earlier. Nobody relayed the incidents to an administrator. That employee was later fired.

Martin Solomon, a personal injury attorney in Phoenix whose clients are mostly vulnerable adult victims of abuse and neglect, said a lawyer representing the woman who gave birth should call for all pertinent medical records, a list of current and former employees and any past litigation involving Hacienda.

It would be hard for Hacienda to escape any kind of liability in court, he said.

"There's a lot of information we do not have. But things like this don't happen without someone either knowing about it or should have known about it," Solomon said. "Whether it's an employee or someone from the outside, the facility has an obligation to protect residents."

Advocates for people with disabilities say Arizona needs to find a way to monitor allegations of sexual abuse and sexual violence in group settings. Doing background checks isn't enough, said Erica McFadden, executive director of the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.

"I think when you've had somebody who's had multiple allegations from different parties, there has to be some way to track that," McFadden said. "If it's the same story from different people, then there's something wrong."

The council recently formed a task force to look at how to improve training for health care workers when it comes to identifying and reporting sexual abuse.

"We don't have a systematic way to train people what's a good touch or a bad touch. We also don't have required training for providers," McFadden said. "We really need a lot of work in this area."

Jon Meyers, executive director of The Arc of Arizona, an advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, called the allegations "disturbing, to put it mildly."

"I can't believe someone receiving that level of constant care wasn't recognized as being pregnant prior to the time she delivered," Meyers said.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Health, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
President calls on Mexicans to help in battling fuel thefts
Mexico's new president is calling on his countrymen to help battle against fuel thefts, as long lines spread to gas stations in Mexico City
1:57PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Male workers face DNA testing after comatose woman had baby
Phoenix police have served a search warrant to get DNA from all male employees at a long-term care facility where a patient in a vegetative state for years gave birth
1:57PM ( 13 minutes ago )
The Latest: Italy alleges extremists smuggled migrants
Italian police say they have broken up a migrant-smuggling ring allegedly organized by Tunisian extremists
1:49PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Trump claims 'tremendous support' over wall
President Donald Trump arrived on Capitol Hill claiming he has "tremendous" support as he headed into a meeting with Republican senators uneasy with the government shutdown over his border wall
1:26PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Abu Dhabi fund, developer seek to sell Chrysler Building
The owners of New York City's Chrysler Building are putting the iconic Art Deco skyscraper on the market
1:10PM ( 1 hour ago )
On his Mideast trip, Pompeo makes unannounced Iraq stop
US Secretary of State Pompeo makes unannounced stop in Iraq on Mideast tour
1:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Witness alleging ballot fraud in congressional race arrested
A witness alleging ballot fraud in the county's last undecided congressional election is facing drug and weapons charges
12:07PM ( 2 hours ago )
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announces divorce on Twitter
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announces on Twitter that he and his wife of 25 years have decided to divorce
11:59AM ( 2 hours ago )
Stocks rise along with optimism over US-China trade talks
US, China wrap up talks on tariff battle after Trump says they are 'going very well!' but no details immediately released
11:44AM ( 2 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
EU Medicines Agency starts shift to Amsterdam before Brexit
The European Union's Medicines Agency has started shifting its work from London to Amsterdam in a concrete consequence of Britain's looming departure from the bloc
10:02AM ( 4 hours ago )
Washington governor, NY mayor push expanded health coverage
Washington's governor and New York City's mayor have unveiled major initiatives to expand health care coverage
9:33PM ( 16 hours ago )
Facility's CEO resigns after vegetative patient gives birth
The CEO of a private health care facility in Phoenix has resigned after reports that a patient gave birth despite being in a vegetative state for more than a decade
7:40PM ( 18 hours ago )
AP Health
APNewsBreak: MLB payrolls dropped for 1st time since 2010
APNewsBreak: MLB payrolls dropped for 1st time since 2010 because of suspensions and midseason retirement
1:40PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Poles protest govt plan for mass slaughter of wild boars
Thousands of Poles are protesting a government plan to hold a massive slaughter of wild boars as a way to stop the spread of the deadly African swine fever among farm pigs
1:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
Global stock rally builds as US-China trade talks wrap up
Stocks around the world built on their early 2019 rally Wednesday after negotiators from the U.S. and China extended their round of trade talks to a third day
12:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Global stocks sustain rally as US-China trade talks wrap up
Stocks around the world built on their early 2019 rally Wednesday after negotiators from the U.S. and China extended their round of trade talks to a third day
11:50AM ( 2 hours ago )
Storm kills Syrian girl in Lebanon, causes widespread damage
A storm packing snow and rain that has battered Lebanon for five days has left an 8-year-old Syrian girl dead, flooded neighborhoods and paralyzed major mountain roads
10:42AM ( 3 hours ago )
Yellow vest protesters call for huge run on French banks
Yellow vest activists are urging French citizens to empty their bank accounts and spark a bank run to get the French government to listen to their demands
7:49AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
A moose walks into an Alaska hospital and finds a snack
A moose wandered into a hospital building in Alaska's largest city and chowed down on some plants in the lobby as workers watched the massive animal in awe
3:20PM ( 22 hours ago )
Stocks climb on trade talks and encouraging economic report
Stocks are rising on Wall Street following another encouraging signal on the economy, this time on growth in service-sector companies, and as the U.S. and China begin a new round of trade talks.
2:56PM ( 1 day ago )
US stocks climb, led by retailers and smaller companies
Stocks are rising after a survey of service-sector companies showed that orders remained strong in December, another sign of health in the U.S. economy, and the U.S. and China begin a new round of trade talks
1:54PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Health Care
Trump hastens to Capitol to hold GOP in line on shutdown
White House tries to hold jittery GOP in line over wall, government shutdown
1:49PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Trump's move to send Haitians home goes on trial in New York
A trial in New York over the Trump administration's move to cut off permission for thousands of Haitians to live in the U.S. has brought to light emails in which officials talked about downplaying crisis conditions in the Caribbean nation
1:43PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Trump, California spar over money for wildfire relief funds
President Donald Trump threatened to withhold money to help California cope with wildfires a day after new Gov. Gavin Newsom asked him to double the federal investment in forest management
1:43PM ( 27 minutes ago )
USDA delays deadline for farmer aid to offset tariff losses
Farmers already reeling from low prices and uncertainty amid the nation's trade dispute with China are welcoming a decision to delay a deadline for federal aid because of the partial government shutdown
1:42PM ( 27 minutes ago )
APNewsBreak: MLB payrolls dropped for 1st time since 2010
APNewsBreak: MLB payrolls dropped for 1st time since 2010 because of suspensions and midseason retirement
1:40PM ( 30 minutes ago )