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-   -   Woman in coma gives birth (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=868523)

The wind of my soul 01-07-2019 09:58 AM

Woman in coma gives birth
 
Link. Can you imagine the kind of abuse and neglect it takes to not only rape a comatose patient, but also not notice a baby growing inside of her until she gives birth to him? This is one of the worst things I've ever seen.

Qadgop the Mercotan 01-07-2019 10:29 AM

Well, it sure ain't good, it sure ain't right, and the perpetrator needs to be held accountable and punished. But (and not to minimize its horror) it's far from among the worst things I've ever seen, sadly enough.

Velocity 01-07-2019 10:36 AM

Wonder if they'll DNA-test the baby against DNA collected from everyone who works in the hospital.

Serenata67 01-07-2019 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21416408)
Wonder if they'll DNA-test the baby against DNA collected from everyone who works in the hospital.

Well, at least all the males who work there...

I just can't believe this story. I mean, I'm sure it happened, but it's unbelievable that someone could do that and no one would notice.

Annie-Xmas 01-07-2019 10:58 AM

And the anti-abortion group does a Happy Dance. "God intended for that baby to be born to that mother."

Sir T-Cups 01-07-2019 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21416408)
Wonder if they'll DNA-test the baby against DNA collected from everyone who works in the hospital.

I would certainly think/hope so.

Frankly, for as bad as the situation is, the resolution is pretty straightforward. You would greatly assume it was someone who worked at the hospital, so you can look back at schedules/time punches for roughly 9 months ago, DNA test the baby and against any males working...and boom.

Velocity 01-07-2019 11:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas (Post 21416466)
And the anti-abortion group does a Happy Dance. "God intended for that baby to be born to that mother."

Do you always have to bring in some abortion/LGBT/religion/atheism non-sequiter into threads like these? This is a repeated pattern of yours.

Velocity 01-07-2019 11:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Serenata67 (Post 21416449)
Well, at least all the males who work there...

Right, all the males.


Wonder if this requires a court order or if it's within the employer's rights to force DNA tests of this kind? Something about self-incrimination/Constitution/Miranda, etc.

Velocity 01-07-2019 11:45 AM

Also, unless the comatose woman were obese, how could the hospital staff not have noticed that her abdomen was getting larger and larger by the month?

Chronos 01-07-2019 11:50 AM

I suppose that it's possible that they assumed that she was becoming obese, since the possibility that someone had impregnated her was too ludicrous to consider.

It's also possible that the impregnator (I hesitate to use the word "father") was her primary caregiver, the person whose job it would have been to notice.

The wind of my soul 01-07-2019 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 21416548)
It's also possible that the impregnator (I hesitate to use the word "father") was her primary caregiver, the person whose job it would have been to notice.

Is that how these facilities work? I had thought that care facilities had several primary caregivers, so the fact that not one of them noticed seemed indicative of some horrible negligence with regards to their duties.

Czarcasm 01-07-2019 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 21416548)
I suppose that it's possible that they assumed that she was becoming obese, since the possibility that someone had impregnated her was too ludicrous to consider.

Is it possible for a comatose person to become obese in that way?

Velocity 01-07-2019 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 21416577)
Is it possible for a comatose person to become obese in that way?

Since there is almost no physical exertion, I would imagine that if a comatose patient is fed more calories than he/she burns in a day, that there would be gradual weight gain.

Nava 01-07-2019 12:08 PM

If I read it correctly, the article doesn't mention any relatives of that particular patient; they mention relatives of other patients. Having a person who actually cares about you as a human being makes an enormous difference in the care a defenseless person gets; that's something we really need to improve as a society, I understand that having some distance from patients is necessary but it shouldn't get to the point where we think of that incapacitated person as nothing but a lump of meat.

Spiderman 01-07-2019 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 21416548)
It's also possible that the impregnator (I hesitate to use the word "father") was her primary caregiver, the person whose job it would have been to notice.

A person who requires 24x7 care should have multiple caregivers as any one employee only works roughly ¼ of the time (40 hrs / 168 hrs wk).

If she's been there for 10 years; they've been responsible for her caloric intake via a feeding tube for that time. It both costs more & is unhealthy to feed a comatose person enough extra nutrition to keep them obese for so long.

Czarcasm 01-07-2019 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21416583)
Since there is almost no physical exertion, I would imagine that if a comatose patient is fed more calories than he/she burns in a day, that there would be gradual weight gain.

I've worked in a couple of health care facilities as an orderly. There is no way she was given enough extra nourishment to gain that much weight in that amount of time, and the nursing staff would have adjusted the intake after the weekly weighing(at the very minimum) was made. Also, any such change in the patient's condition weight and food intake wise would have been reported to the family.

The wind of my soul 01-07-2019 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 21416600)
Also, any such change in the patient's condition weight and food intake wise would have been reported to the family.

Purely out of curiosity, what method is used to weigh a comatose person?

kaylasdad99 01-07-2019 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The wind of my soul (Post 21416333)
Link. Can you imagine the kind of abuse and neglect it takes to not only rape a comatose patient, but also not notice a baby growing inside of her until she gives birth to him? This is one of the worst things I've ever seen.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan (Post 21416390)
Well, it sure ain't good, it sure ain't right, and the perpetrator needs to be held accountable and punished. But (and not to minimize its horror) it's far from among the worst things I've ever seen, sadly enough.

With respect, Doc, you're kind of a special case...

kaylasdad99 01-07-2019 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21416488)
Do you always have to bring in some abortion/LGBT/religion/atheism non-sequiter into threads like these? This is a repeated pattern of yours.

Not to answer for her, but YES, SHE DOES.

EVERYBODY does.

kaylasdad99 01-07-2019 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21416544)
Also, unless the comatose woman were obese, how could the hospital staff not have noticed that her abdomen was getting larger and larger by the month?

I understand that, after being hospitalized due to a fall which rendered him comatose, Dr. Atkins (of the Atkins Diet fame), ballooned up to a state of obesity before he died.

So the phenomenon is not unheard of (the phenomenon of comatose people getting larger, not of men getting pregnant).

Czarcasm 01-07-2019 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The wind of my soul (Post 21416626)
Purely out of curiosity, what method is used to weigh a comatose person?

The patient can be put into a padded chair that measures weight, or the patient can be put into a sling rather easily by rolling her to one side, tucking sling under her, rolling her to the other side and pulling it through then hooking the sling to the machine. BTW, this "roll, tuck, roll the other way, pull" method is also used to put clean bedding under bedridden patients.

kaylasdad99 01-07-2019 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The wind of my soul (Post 21416626)
Purely out of curiosity, what method is used to weigh a comatose person?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 21416669)
The patient can be put into a padded chair that measures weight, or the patient can be put into a sling rather easily by rolling her to one side, tucking sling under her, rolling her to the other side and pulling it through then hooking the sling to the machine. BTW, this "roll, tuck, roll the other way, pull" method is also used to put clean bedding under bedridden patients.

Also, the last couple of times kaylasmom was hospitalized, I noticed that her hospital bed was equipped with a scale. Dunno how reliable those things are, though.

iamthewalrus(:3= 01-07-2019 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21416491)
Right, all the males.


Wonder if this requires a court order or if it's within the employer's rights to force DNA tests of this kind? Something about self-incrimination/Constitution/Miranda, etc.

It is against the law for an employer to get your DNA. As well it should be.

A court could order it as part of a criminal investigation, but I doubt seriously that a court would order all the males who work in a hospital to submit to a DNA test. It would likely be the same sort of standard as a search warrant. They'd need probable cause to believe that an individual committed a crime. The fact that some male obviously did commit a crime isn't enough to force all males in the vicinity to undergo genetic testing.

It seems likely that there will be other evidence that can be gathered. The perpetrator likely had intimate knowledge of care schedules or was one of the woman's caregivers. Which will narrow the search a lot.

Folacin 01-07-2019 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21416544)
Also, unless the comatose woman were obese, how could the hospital staff not have noticed that her abdomen was getting larger and larger by the month?

Some of that would depend on the initial size of the woman, and also how the baby was carried. We had neighbors who were surprised when we started pushing a baby carriage around the neighborhood, as my wife didn't show a lot (and he was a 7lb something baby).

Also, the woman would have been on a constant calorie diet (no one knowing she was pregnant), so her only weight gain would have been the baby.

beowulff 01-07-2019 01:58 PM

Leaving aside all the reprehensible misconduct issues for a moment, I'm kind of shocked that a (presumably healthy) baby can be born to a comatose patient at all.

Czarcasm 01-07-2019 02:07 PM

It could very well be that they were extremely careless, another patient sexually abused her, and they were trying to cover up their incompetence.

Yllaria 01-07-2019 02:33 PM

It could also have been someone visiting another patient. And it's entirely possible that one or more staff members noticed, at least enough to suspect, but didn't want to be the one to officially ask the question.

Shodan 01-07-2019 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beowulff (Post 21416856)
Leaving aside all the reprehensible misconduct issues for a moment, I'm kind of shocked that a (presumably healthy) baby can be born to a comatose patient at all.

According to the link, the mother was in the institution because of a traumatic brain injury, not because of any problems with her uterus or other reproductive organs. Gestation is pretty deeply embedded in the DNA, so to speak - it doesn't require much by way of brain function.

I have no idea of the effects of coma on reproductive health, but as long as she got adequate nutrition, which she seems to have done, I would expect the "housekeeping" functions of the body - digestion, excretion, and even (God help us) reproduction, to degenerate slowly enough to allow pregnancy. That's not to say that this kind of thing is a good idea, or not high-risk, as well as morally outrageous. IANAObstetrician.

The linked article quotes her mother as saying the patient is able to say Yes and No. I have no idea if that is accurate, or the facilitated communication thing, or something else.

Women can give birth under extreme circumstances.

Regards,
Shodan

Voyager 01-07-2019 02:44 PM

Our local news is all over this story for some reason. It appears there were no CCTV cameras in this place. One parent of another patient said that he was installing his own in the room. The facility decided (a bit late) that men could not go into female patient's rooms alone any more.

A DNA test on the child and mother might give some clues as to the background of the father, which could narrow it down. And men working there could be given the opportunity to voluntarily give a DNA sample to the police which could narrow it down more.
DNA has not been mentioned in any of the news stories I've seen, which is interesting.

Gatopescado 01-07-2019 02:52 PM

Law & Order had a storyline like this. Turned out the victim's mother wanted a grandchild and paid some dude to knock-up her daughter. Lots of legal highjinks ensued.

Surreal 01-07-2019 02:52 PM

This has happened before back in the 90s. In the previous case, the male employees volunteered to submit DNA samples and the culprit was found:

http://rockethics.psu.edu/initiative...na-dragnetting

Quote:

In one of the few examples of successful DNA dragnetting in the United States, Israel Moret was identified as being the perpetrator of a rape against a bedridden victim (http://www.eagletribune.com/news/sto...114/LN_001.htm). However, this dragnet was somewhat localized in terms of scope as the victim was an immobile and comatose patient in a nursing home; consequently the victim had contact with a relatively restricted group of men. Moret was among the “33 men, almost all staffers at the Town Manor Nursing Home who offered blood samples to investigators for DNA testing shortly after the 24-year-old woman gave birth” (Id)

ZipperJJ 01-07-2019 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21416938)
According to the link, the mother was in the institution because of a traumatic brain injury, not because of any problems with her uterus or other reproductive organs. Gestation is pretty deeply embedded in the DNA, so to speak - it doesn't require much by way of brain function.

I have no idea of the effects of coma on reproductive health, but as long as she got adequate nutrition, which she seems to have done, I would expect the "housekeeping" functions of the body - digestion, excretion, and even (God help us) reproduction, to degenerate slowly enough to allow pregnancy. That's not to say that this kind of thing is a good idea, or not high-risk, as well as morally outrageous. IANAObstetrician.

Yeah but the actual act of giving birth is not a passive experience, as far as I'm aware. How does it happen when the mother is comatose? I assume if there was a C-section it would have been mentioned.

Quote:

The linked article quotes her mother as saying the patient is able to say Yes and No. I have no idea if that is accurate, or the facilitated communication thing, or something else.
The linked article quotes a different patient's mother as saying a different patient can say Yes and No. No family of the pregnant patient was quoted in the article.

Shodan 01-07-2019 03:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZipperJJ (Post 21416984)
Yeah but the actual act of giving birth is not a passive experience, as far as I'm aware. How does it happen when the mother is comatose? I assume if there was a C-section it would have been mentioned.

It's not a passive experience, but I don't think it takes much brain function either.
I have never given birth, but I believe it can be done even under general anesthesia. Didn't they use to knock women out altogether?
Quote:

The linked article quotes a different patient's mother as saying a different patient can say Yes and No. No family of the pregnant patient was quoted in the article.
I must have been mistaken- thanks for the correction.

Regards,
Shodan

Flyer 01-07-2019 03:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas (Post 21416466)
And the anti-abortion group does a Happy Dance. "God intended for that baby to be born to that mother."

Even from a religious perspective, this is wildly incorrect.

God allowed the free will of the perpetrator to override God's choice on the matter.

God wouldn't be much of a God if He gave us free will, and then overrode it whenever it was convenient.

iiandyiiii 01-07-2019 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyer (Post 21417074)
Even from a religious perspective, this is wildly incorrect.

God allowed the free will of the perpetrator to override God's choice on the matter.

God wouldn't be much of a God if He gave us free will, and then overrode it whenever it was convenient.

If I had the knowledge and power to stop the abuse of this woman, I would have. Anyone who wouldn't isn't worth much, morally speaking, IMO.

Czarcasm 01-07-2019 03:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyer (Post 21417074)
Even from a religious perspective, this is wildly incorrect.

God allowed the free will of the perpetrator to override God's choice on the matter.

God wouldn't be much of a God if He gave us free will, and then overrode it whenever it was convenient.

I couldn't sit there and watch silently as a comatose woman was raped...but then again I'm not God, thank ghod.

Broomstick 01-07-2019 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21416408)
Wonder if they'll DNA-test the baby against DNA collected from everyone who works in the hospital.

While suspecting male staff is a logical thing, it doesn't have to be staff. It could be a frequent male visitor, perhaps someone visiting another patient who goes where he shouldn't. Or even a one-time creep who got in, maybe with the intent to steal stuff, and took advantage of someone who couldn't speak or fight back.

All in all, pretty damn scary stuff.

Broomstick 01-07-2019 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21416488)
Do you always have to bring in some abortion/LGBT/religion/atheism non-sequiter into threads like these?

I don't have any objection to her bringing that here, it is a related topic.

Bear_Nenno 01-07-2019 04:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas (Post 21416466)
And the anti-abortion group does a Happy Dance. "God intended for that baby to be born to that mother."

Strange. I thought the female body had a way of shutting that whole thing down.

rsat3acr 01-07-2019 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyer (Post 21417074)
Even from a religious perspective, this is wildly incorrect.

God allowed the free will of the perpetrator to override God's choice on the matter.

God wouldn't be much of a God if He gave us free will, and then overrode it whenever it was convenient.

nm, my statement would need to be in Great Debates.

Typo Negative 01-07-2019 04:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Broomstick (Post 21417164)
While suspecting male staff is a logical thing, it doesn't have to be staff. It could be a frequent male visitor, perhaps someone visiting another patient who goes where he shouldn't. Or even a one-time creep who got in, maybe with the intent to steal stuff, and took advantage of someone who couldn't speak or fight back.

Exactly. It could have been a visitor or family member, another patient or a visitor of another patient, a vendor like a flower delivery boy, or someone who walked in off the street.

I don't know about you, but I have been a visitor in a hospital (not THIS hospital, mind you) about a dozen times and have never once been asked to state my purpose or produce an ID. Once, I was asked who I was visiting at the front desk, and was given a temporary visitor's badge. Again, I did not present an ID. I have also worked as an IT sub-contractor and walked the halls of Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. I wore a temp ID badge that did not have my name on it and was never questioned.

ivylass 01-07-2019 05:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gatopescado (Post 21416981)
Law & Order had a storyline like this. Turned out the victim's mother wanted a grandchild and paid some dude to knock-up her daughter. Lots of legal highjinks ensued.

Not quite, IIRC. Her doctor impregnated her to get stem cells to help his wealthy patient, who had Parkinson's. The mother wanted to keep the baby because it was her grandchild and she was herself against abortion. I think this was an SVU episode.

Voyager 01-07-2019 06:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Typo Negative (Post 21417202)
Exactly. It could have been a visitor or family member, another patient or a visitor of another patient, a vendor like a flower delivery boy, or someone who walked in off the street.

Sure, but DNA testing of the staff would eliminate them as suspects, so they could check logs for the time when this could have happened.
You'd also think it would be done by someone familiar with the place, since your random delivery boy wouldn't know that he wouldn't get walked in on. I'd also think that the rape might have happened more than once, since she did get pregnant.

Typo Negative 01-07-2019 06:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ivylass (Post 21417241)
Not quite, IIRC. Her doctor impregnated her to get stem cells to help his wealthy patient, who had Parkinson's. The mother wanted to keep the baby because it was her grandchild and she was herself against abortion. I think this was an SVU episode.

Gatopescado is correct.

In the L&O episode, the parents paid an orderly to impregnate the daughter in the coma. It was about getting the grandchild. The orderly bought a Harley, then got the snot beaten out of him by brothers of a different patient who they thought he raped but did not.

G0sp3l 01-07-2019 06:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 21417090)
I couldn't sit there and watch silently as a comatose woman was raped...but then again I'm not God, thank ghod.

One of the many reasons why I'm atheist and deny the existence of any of the Abrahamic gods.

As far as testing the male staff's DNA, they had better come with a court order. I'm not interested in any spiel stating "this will eliminate you as a suspect."


ETA: To be clear, I am NOT a rapist, nor do I think rapist should get a pass.

Chronos 01-07-2019 07:19 PM

I've a hunch that, as the story develops, one obvious suspect will emerge, with enough probable cause that the police will be able to get a warrant for his DNA.

That said, a legal hypothetical: Suppose that it were possible to narrow down the list of possible suspects to a finite and manageable number. And suppose that all but one of those men voluntarily offered a DNA sample to the police, and that all of those samples were verified as not being the father. Could that fact be used as evidence against the last suspect?

Spiderman 01-07-2019 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 21417460)
I've a hunch that, as the story develops, one obvious suspect will emerge, with enough probable cause that the police will be able to get a warrant for his DNA.

That said, a legal hypothetical: Suppose that it were possible to narrow down the list of possible suspects to a finite and manageable number. And suppose that all but one of those men voluntarily offered a DNA sample to the police, and that all of those samples were verified as not being the father. Could that fact be used as evidence against the last suspect?

Then the suspect better move to an area where burning your garbage is legal & never eat out or throw anything in a public trashcan.

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYTimes
Investigators then obtained what Anne Marie Schubert, the Sacramento district attorney, called “abandoned” DNA samples from Mr. DeAngelo. “You leave your DNA in a place that is a public domain,” she said.


Little Nemo 01-07-2019 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Surreal (Post 21416982)
This has happened before back in the 90s.

There was also a crime like this here in Rochester in 1995.

This raises the very disturbing question of how many comatose women are being victimized.

Procrustus 01-07-2019 08:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 21417460)
I've a hunch that, as the story develops, one obvious suspect will emerge, with enough probable cause that the police will be able to get a warrant for his DNA.

That said, a legal hypothetical: Suppose that it were possible to narrow down the list of possible suspects to a finite and manageable number. And suppose that all but one of those men voluntarily offered a DNA sample to the police, and that all of those samples were verified as not being the father. Could that fact be used as evidence against the last suspect?

If all but one possible suspects can be ruled out, a judge would probably find probable cause for a search warrant to take a DNA sample.

nearwildheaven 01-07-2019 08:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 (Post 21416665)
I understand that, after being hospitalized due to a fall which rendered him comatose, Dr. Atkins (of the Atkins Diet fame), ballooned up to a state of obesity before he died.

So the phenomenon is not unheard of (the phenomenon of comatose people getting larger, not of men getting pregnant).

Dr. Atkins' massive weight gain in his last days was due to a phenomenon called third-spacing, where bodily fluids leak from the capillaries and even cell walls; the person becomes edematous and dehydrated at the same time. A relatively recent example that got in the news a few years ago involved the Ebola patients who were treated in the U.S. and Europe; many of them GAINED as much as 50 pounds over baseline, despite massive diarrhea and/or vomiting, and that's how it happened. One of them was so "puffy", IV access had to be obtained in their tibias, where there's a large marrow chamber just underneath the surface, and that's every bit as painful as it sounds. :eek: Apparently it's used quite a bit in critically ill babies and small children; I never personally saw an order for it.

I, too wonder what kind of "nursing home" she was in, for her caregivers not to notice that she was pregnant? For one thing, didn't she have menstrual cycles, and didn't anyone notice that she wasn't having them any more?

Some of us on another board also wondered if the perpetrator might not be someone who works there - because it was ANOTHER CLIENT. :( This is not uncommon in senior-oriented nursing homes or homes for people with traumatic brain injuries, due to the loss of inhibitions, or MR/DD facilities as well. It could also have been a contract employee, a relative of a visitor, etc. In any case, this person needs to be caught and sent to prison.


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