USA: Woman in coma for years gives birth at Phoenix hospital, police suspect sexual abuse

It was only when a woman gave birth late in December that employees at her healthcare facility in Arizona, in USA, realised she was pregnant. But strangely enough there is a more shocking revelation to the story.

The woman was in a vegetative state for at least a decade at a private healthcare facility in Phoenix, Arizona’s capital. The birth of her son triggered a police investigation and reviews by state agencies in a situation that the state governor’s office called “deeply troubling”.

News website, azfamily.com, first reported late on Thursday that according to sources not identified, a woman gave birth on 29 December, while living at a Hacienda HealthCare facility, where the staff was unaware that she was pregnant. It also said police are now looking into possible sexual abuse. “None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth,” the website quoted a source as saying.

In a report, the Washington Post said the birth of the child — “and the sexual assault of a vulnerable individual that must have preceded it — has cast a harsh glare on conditions at a nonprofit organisation [called Hacienda HealthCare] that bills itself as a leading provider of health care for Phoenix’s medically fragile”.

Hacienda HealthCare stands “fully committed to getting to the truth of what, for us, represents an unprecedented matter,” a spokesperson for the organisation was quoted as saying in two news reports.

Articles in the Post and the New York Times described previous instances of misconduct — including inappropriate comments about patients — by a Hacienda employee, who was later fired.

(With inputs from Agencies)