The Arizona Tribune

Hacienda Healthcare Patient’s Parents Seek Apology

The incident which had given a chill to the Arizonans is now being talked of again due to the insensitiveness of the health care authorities. The parents of the woman who was sexually assaulted at Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix had hoped for an apology.

John Micheaels, the lawyer representing the woman and her family, said that the HealthCare’s leadership had never apologized to the family. The family issued a statement saying they hope a proper investigation into the facility that will result in changes necessary to prevent further abuse and neglect of its patients. The family also called the assault on their daughter an inexcusable failure to protect and safeguard their vulnerable daughter.

It should be reported here that the case involves a woman described as incapacitated and unable to make any decisions or give consent due to her disability. The 29-year-old woman gave birth to a baby boy on the latter part of the last month. She has a brain injury reportedly and is reliant on feeding and breathing tubes and in need of a maximum level of care.

On the day of the incident, a call to 911 by the staff at the healthcare was made, and the Phoenix Police Department released it. The healthcare staffs were surprised at the birth of the boy by the woman as they had not expected this from her. The victim belonged to San Carlos Apache tribe, had lived at Hacienda de Los Angeles near South Mountain for nearly 26 years. She had been admitted to the Healthcare when she was just 3 years old.

It should be noted here that after the incident, Hacienda HealthCare officials hired former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley to initiate an investigation of the safety of the patients and examine how the woman was raped and impregnated without the staff’s knowledge.

John Micheaels said that the family of the victim believe the investigation to be fully transparent and they would expect that they would get justice for the tragedy.

Two state agencies also have ordered the Hacienda HealthCare to hire a third-party investigator to examine the case, and the HealthCare responded stating it is fully committed to ensuring the safety of its patients, and it would make sure that no patient receives anything but the best possible care.

It also added that the board is considering the best possible option for the patient and her family. It will also consider the Hacienda team and for the organization and do what is needed as per the guidelines of the regulator.

But, the parents of the victim were disappointed to have not received any apology from the HealthCare, and they said they were shocked at the HealthCare’s choice not to express any remorse or apology.

In response, a spokesman for Hacienda HealthCare said that the healthcare would do what is needed and the best for the safety of the patients and prevent this from happening in the future. And the spokesperson also added that they had not talked about this in public respecting the sensitive situation, the whole Hacienda had been devastated by the incident and “I’m Sorry” would be too small to cover the tragedy.

Though the healthcare is conducting an independent investigation on the issue, the State should formulate required legislation or guidelines to protect the victims of this kind from such assaults in the future.

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