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I may not be clairvoyant. But I know one family that will receive a gigantic check soon.

A 29-year-old woman had been in a persistent vegetative state for about ten years. She was involved in a near drowning incident.

Unbeknownst to the staff at Hacienda Healthcare, a long-term care facility, the patient was pregnant. She started to moan and gave birth on December 29th.

An attorney for the woman’s family said in a statement to NBC affiliate 12News in Phoenix that the family is not emotionally ready to make a public statement, but that “the family would like me to convey that the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for.”

“The family obviously is outraged, traumatized and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter at Hacienda HealthCare,” the attorney said.

Yes, how did a patient in a persistent vegetative state at a long-term care facility get pregnant?

Police in Phoenix executed a search warrant looking for DNA samples from male staff members.

“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,” the facility said in a statement. “We were told it would be a violation of federal law in either instance.”

The CEO of Hacienda resigned.

The patient was raped, plain and simple. This is a criminal offense and the perpetrator should be identified and charged. It may have been a staff member. It may have been a visitor. If the latter, how can one protect against this? Not easy.

Hacienda will likely have to write a big check, the sooner the better. They will also need to come up with a plan to assure the public and regulators that their vulnerable patients will not be sexually abused or raped.

What do you think?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeffrey Segal, MD, JD

Dr. Jeffrey Segal, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Medical Justice, is a board-certified neurosurgeon. In the process of conceiving, funding, developing, and growing Medical Justice, Dr. Segal has established himself as one of the country’s leading authorities on medical malpractice issues, counterclaims, and internet-based assaults on reputation.

Dr. Segal holds a M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine, where he also completed a neurosurgical residency. Dr. Segal served as a Spinal Surgery Fellow at The University of South Florida Medical School. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa as well as the AOA Medical Honor Society. Dr. Segal received his B.A. from the University of Texas and graduated with a J.D. from Concord Law School with highest honors.

Dr. Segal is also a partner at Byrd Adatto, a national business and health care law firm. With over 50 combined years of experience in serving doctors, dentists, and other providers, Byrd Adatto has a national pedigree to address most legal issues that arise in the business and practice of medicine.

If you have a medico-legal question, write to Medical Justice at infonews@medicaljustice.com.

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