Woman Who Gave Birth While In A Vegetative State Was Not In Coma, According To Lawyer

The woman suffers from severe intellectual disabilities, as well as being in a state of flaccid quadriplegia.

Black and white image of a newborn baby
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The woman suffers from severe intellectual disabilities, as well as being in a state of flaccid quadriplegia.

The incapacitated Arizona woman who recently gave birth while in a long-term care facility was not in a coma, a lawyer for the woman’s family now states. Instead, the woman has intellectual disabilities as a result of seizures early in her childhood. Of course, this still means correct consent was not given by the woman in the situation.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Arizona woman was initially reported to have been in a coma for 10 years prior to giving birth. An inquiry into sexual assault at the Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix was immediately instigated. Additional protocols involving female patients were also immediately put in place.

DNA tests have been ordered on male staff at the facility. The Phoenix Police Department admitted that this might not be a broad enough criterion. However, they were “not specific about whether that would extend to visitors and other patients at the facility.”

New details have emerged that suggest the woman was not in a vegetative state. According to CBS News, attorney John Micheaels has gone on the record to say that the woman was not in a coma. Instead, the 29-year-old suffered from “significant intellectual disabilities.” While the woman is unable to speak, she is described as having “flaccid quadriplegia,” but does have limited movement, “responds to sounds and is able to make facial gestures.”

“The important thing here is that contrary to what’s been reported, she is a person, albeit with significant intellectual disabilities,” Micheaels told KPHO-TV.

“She has feelings and is capable of responding to people she is familiar with, especially family.”

It is believed that the woman suffered her disabilities due to seizures early in her life. She has been in the Hacienda HealthCare facility since the age of three, according to the Arizona Republic. Court records also indicate that the woman, who is a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, is “not alert” and needs a “maximum level of care.”

The Associated Press has contacted the attorney to provide a statement on the matter but Micheaels declined, insisting that an initial report with the Arizona Republic was correct regarding the woman.

Regardless of the state of the woman, proper consent was obviously not given and this remains a sexual assault issue. It is known that she gave birth to a baby boy on December 29. Staff members were unaware at the time that the woman was pregnant. Since the birth, two care providers — a registered nurse and a certified caregiver — have been suspended after a claim of abuse from another patient at the facility, and two doctors have been relieved of their duties; one suspended, the other resigned.