independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Savita inquiry 'may be incomplete'

Savita Halappanavar died at Galway University Hospital after suffering a miscarriage (The Irish Times/PA)

An inquiry into Savita Halappanavar's death has been thrown into further disarray after the health minister admitted it may be incomplete without her husband's support.

The Government pressed ahead despite Praveen Halappanavar threatening to withhold his late wife's medical notes and refusal to meet the investigation chairman.

He has called for a sworn, public independent inquiry with witnesses to be cross-examined.

"I have seen the way my wife was treated in the hospital so I have no confidence that the HSE will do justice," he said.

Mrs Halappanavar, 31, died on October 28, 17 weeks into her pregnancy. She miscarried and subsequently suffered septicaemia and her husband claims that doctors refused to carry out an abortion as a foetal heartbeat was present.

Dr James Reilly, health minister, said the probe would continue with or without Mr Halappanavar's co-operation - even with the risk of an absence of important information.

"There may come a point when we won't have the completeness of information without Mr Halappanavar's input and that would be regrettable," said Dr Reilly.

About 2,000 people joined the latest protest march outside the Dail demanding the Government take immediate action to legislate for abortion rights.

Inquiry chairman, obstetrics and gynaecology expert Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran of St George's University of London, is to complete an interim report on Mrs Halappanavar's death before Christmas.

Mr Halappanavar, in an interview on RTE's Prime Time, said neither he nor his family had any confidence in the Health Service Executive.

Press Association

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