Monday 21 April 2014

Savita inquest will begin this month

THE inquest into the death of Savita Halappanavar will begin later this month, with more than 40 witnesses expected to provide written statements in connection with her death.

Galway West Coroner Dr Ciaran McLoughlin said a preliminary hearing will take place on January 18.

He said he had set Friday week as a deadline for all witnesses to give written statements to gardai and was hopeful the full inquest would go ahead in March.

Mrs Halappanavar (31) died in University College Hospital Galway last October 28 from septicaemia, seven days after being admitted with back pain to its maternity unit. She was 17 weeks pregnant and found to be miscarrying.

Her husband Praveen claimed she asked on several occasions for a termination but was refused.

Mr Halappanavar, who is not co-operating with an HSE review led by Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, an expert on maternal care from the University of London, or an inquiry by patient safety watchdog HIQA, will take part in the inquest.

Dr McLoughlin said he was asking for the use of a courtroom for a week in March to allow for all the time needed.

A jury may be present for the inquest, but this will not be decided until the preliminary hearing later this month.

Irish Independent

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