Former male nurse pleads guilty to impregnating patient in nursing home

A former nurse by the name of  Nathan Sutherland entered a guilty plea on Thursday and was charged with abuse of a vulnerable 29-year-old adult woman at Hacienda healthcare in Arizona.

The patient who was in a long-term care facility for many years was discovered to be in labor when a female assistant was changing her clothes. The staff stated they had no idea that the patient was pregnant. The woman’s parents are suing the facility saying that their daughter did not have her period for several months and the facility should’ve been aware that there was a problem as Nathan Sutherland continued to care for her even after she was pregnant (Radio Facts).

“She has intellectual disabilities because of childhood seizures and is bedridden and nonverbal. But she can move some of her extremities, respond to sound and make facial gestures”, according to her family. 

Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said, “This woman was unable to move; she was unable to communicate. In other words, she was helpless,”. “This started as a sexual assault investigation from day one.”

Phoenix police released audio of the frantic 911 call a nurse at the facility made after the woman gave birth. “OK, what’s the emergency?” a dispatcher asked. “Someone just had a baby — one of the patients just had a baby, and we had no idea she was pregnant,” the nurse said. “We were not prepared for this.” Staff worked to resuscitate the baby, doing compressions on his chest and using a self-inflating resuscitator — and soon after he began crying.

In January 2019, Sutherland was arrested after a sample of his DNA matched the baby’s, police said. Sutherland is scheduled to be sentenced November 4 (PostinTread).



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