Arizona grants license to facility where patient in vegetative state gave birth

Phoenix-based Hacienda HealthCare's long-term care facility where a patient in a vegetative state gave birth last December is now a state-licensed facility, reports the Arizona Republic.

Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill last week requiring care facilities for people with intellectual disabilities to gain licensing from the state's health department. These facilities had been exempt from licensing requirements since 1997.

The new law removes this exemption, meaning facilities caring for people with intellectual disabilities must now comply with all state licensing requirements.

The push for more oversight came after a 29-year-old patient in a vegetative state gave birth at Hacienda's care facility in December 2018. Nathan Sutherland, a former nurse at Hacienda, is accused of raping the patient. He has since pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault and vulnerable-adult abuse.

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