There are few offenses more heinous than those that are sexual in nature. In the #MeToo era, it certainly has become clear that sexual abuse, from harassment to rape, has been rampant in America. Just look at Hollywood and the horrifying acts allegedly committed by once renowned, now disgraced, producer Harvey Weinstein. Many other males figures in the spotlight have been accused of years of sexual abuse by coworkers and colleagues. But make no mistake, sexual abuse, unfortunately, is pervasive in all echelons of society.
Most recently, it was discovered that a comatose patient at a nursing facility in Phoenix, Arizona, gave birth, despite having been in a vegetative state for 14 years. The staff at the 24-hour care facility said they were unaware of her pregnancy until late December 2018, when she went into labor. She delivered a healthy boy.
While it is certainly a miracle that this baby was born without any complications, we must not forget the obvious horrors that his mother endured. There is no doubt that she had been raped while in the care of Hacienda Healthcare. Despite her comatose state, the woman, whose identity wasn’t made public, is said to feel pain. However, she cannot communicate and has no way to defend herself.
From medical, ethical and human rights standpoints, this case is horrifying and heartbreaking. First and foremost, it begs the question of how many other victims in similar situations are out there, and how was this allowed to happen. It goes without saying that people in a comatose state are vulnerable to abuse of all forms, particularly neglect, which is a concern for their family members and loved ones. Now must they also worry about the threat of sexual abuse from caregivers?
Secondly, how did none of the medical professionals realize that this victim was pregnant? Unless she is morbidly obese, there is no excuse for trained medical personnel to miss something so physically obvious and potentially life-threatening.
Clearly, this incident highlights the need for revising protocols at nursing facilities to ensure the protection of patients. But this and other recent scenarios involving sexual abuse also show the lack of moral striving that seems to have become more pervasive than ever in our nation. It takes a sick individual to commit this sort of act. Though tragic and troublesome for those involved, hopefully the publicity about this event will help prevent others from suffering such a fate.
After hearing about this horrific act, I felt filled with disgust and could not make sense of it. I buried myself in books by the great moral philosophers and spiritual leaders — Socrates, David Hume, C.S. Lewis, Pastor A.R. Bernard, Adam Smith and, of course, the Holy Bible — to try to understand, and hopefully make sense of, our broken moral and spiritual code. Make no mistake, “the system” is more than just flawed; it is broken on many levels. No one can deny that increasing levels of moral relativism have resulted in tragic outcomes that we never thought possible.
I believe that we must look into our past to remind us of who we are. America’s greatness was founded upon the same general principles and ideologies that the great thinkers of the past lectured and wrote about. Revisiting religious history and re-reading their long-held beliefs seems like a good place to begin. By looking into the past, hopefully we can unravel the troubles that we currently face in this nation and bolster our attempts to eradicate despicable sexual acts from our society.
Armstrong Williams (@ARightSide) is the owner and manager of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and the 2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner of the Year. He is the author of “Reawakening Virtues.”
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