An Arizona state legislator is planning to push legislation to allow video cameras in nursing homes after a long-comatose woman gave birth to a baby boy.
Rep. Jeff Weninger (R-Chandler) told local television stations last week that he’ll be exploring and supporting such “granny cam” laws. His comments come after a 29-year-old woman at Hacienda Healthcare — in a vegetative state for 10-plus years from a near-drowning incident — became pregnant, unbeknownst to staff.
“The question is, does the family who has a loved one in a nursing home or a care facility have a right to keep an eye on them. Maybe even converse with them,” Weninger told ABC15 Thursday. “It’s tragic, it’s disgusting plainly and we want to make sure we can try to prevent this in the future.”
The incident has drawn both statewide and national attention, and prompted the facility’s longtime administrator to resign last week. Police have subsequently sought DNA samples from staffers at the Phoenix nursing home to pinpoint the patient’s attacker.
Weninger said he’ll work in tandem with Rep. Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix), who chairs the House Human Services Committee, to push new legislation. Such laws have become more common in states, with Louisiana passing a “granny cam” law last year.
The mother of one Hacienda patient old ABC that she plans to install a camera in her child’s room at Hacienda, regardless of what happens with Weninger’s law. “This is my daughter and I’m going to do anything in my power to make sure she is protected,” she said.