Facility Where Incapacitated Woman Gave Birth Is Closing

State regulators say it is 'disturbing news'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 8, 2019 3:42 AM CST
Facility Where Incapacitated Women Gave Birth Is Closing
Nathan Sutherland, accused of raping and impregnating a patient at Hacienda HealthCare, is arraigned in Maricopa County Superior Court, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.   (Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)

A long-term care facility in Arizona where an incapacitated woman was raped and later gave birth announced Thursday that it would shut down operations. Officials with Hacienda HealthCare said its board of directors determined that it's not sustainable to keep operating its intermediate care facility in Phoenix. It serves infants, children, and young adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities who require a high level of medical care, the AP reports. Hacienda officials said they were working with state agencies to develop a plan to move 37 patients to other centers. Its skilled nursing facility will stay open. State regulators called the decision "disturbing news" and not in the best interest of patients.

"State agencies are exhausting all efforts to bring this to a conclusion that is beneficial to the patients, some of whom have been at this facility nearly their entire lives," the Arizona Department of Economic Security said in a statement. The state had ordered Hacienda to hire a third-party management team to oversee daily operations after an incapacitated woman who lived at the facility since age 3 gave birth on Dec. 29. But Hacienda and the outside party could not come to a long-term agreement. Authorities have charged Nathan Sutherland, a former licensed nurse, with sexually assaulting the 29-year-old victim. They determined his DNA matched a sample taken from the newborn boy. (A caregiver at a Florida facility is accused of impregnating a disabled patient.)

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