Mississippi residents may have heard about a story involving a woman in a vegetative state who gave birth in December 2018. The woman had been in that state for roughly two decades when her son was born. Although nursing home caretakers were watching over the woman on a 24/7 basis, no one has acknowledged anything out of the ordinary took place prior to the event. According to one person familiar with the incident, she would not have been able to defend herself against a sexual assault.
She would also not be able to tell anyone that she was pregnant. Multiple people did have access to the 29-year-old woman’s room, and police have obtained warrants to collect DNA samples from male employees. An investigation into the incident is being undertaken by the Arizona Department of Health. Hacienda HealthCare has also said that it is conducting an investigation and that it has changed its policies to ensure something similar doesn’t happen again.
One of the new rules states that male employees must have a female employee with them when entering a female patient’s room. A board member for Hacienda Health said that the company would do everything in its power to protect patient safety. The organization’s CEO at the time of the incident resigned in its aftermath.
If a nursing home fails to provide a reasonable level of care to patients, it could constitute negligence on its part. In some cases, multiple parties could be held financially responsible. For instance, an employee who sexually or otherwise abuses a patient could be liable for damages as well as managers or others who fail to stop it.