New Mexico families who entrust their loved ones to nursing facilities have been unsettled by the news out of a neighboring state about a woman in a vegetative state giving birth in a nursing home. The 29-year-old woman had been in nursing care since she was a toddler. Her conditions included quadriplegia, persistent pneumonia and seizures. According to anonymous sources in touch with staff members at Hacienda HealthCare, the woman would not have been able to defend herself from sexual advances or communicate her condition.

Law enforcement and health officials have initiated an investigation. The fact that the staff at the facility failed to notice the pregnancy until the birth has led people to believe that negligence contributed to the situation although authorities have not made any definitive statements. A media outlet has reported that police have secured a search warrant to obtain DNA samples from male staff members at the facility.

The family of the woman plans to take care of the baby boy who appears to be healthy. They have also hired an attorney to manage the case and potentially take legal action for the apparent abuse. The CEO of the corporation that operates the facility has already resigned over the incident.

Having legal assistance could be advisable for a family when a loved one appears to have suffered from nursing home abuse. An attorney might look for violations of health regulations or staffing problems to collect evidence of negligence and build a case. With the insights of an attorney, a family might understand options for filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: Yahoo, “Woman in Vegetative State Gives Birth, Prompting Sexual-Assault Investigation”, Kimberly Truong and Claire Lampen, Jan. 11, 2019