Saturday 21 October 2017

Savita spouse prepares his response to draft report

Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

THE husband of Savita Halappanavar is expected to meet with his solicitor tomorrow to prepare his response to the draft report into the death of his wife.

Praveen Halappanavar received a copy of the final draft on Friday, the day before their baby was due to be born. He spent much of yesterday reading the draft report into how Savita died in a Galway hospital after she miscarried.

Mr Halappanavar's solicitor, Gerard O'Donnell, said the final report was "complicated and significant", charting the medical treatment Savita received from her admission to Galway University Hospital up to her death, and reached "important conclusions".

"I would safely say every hospital will take cognisance of this report when it is published," he said.

Mr O'Donnell said he will be meeting Mr Halappanavar tomorrow afternoon to discuss his response to the report.

Savita Halappanavar's death re-opened the abortion debate in Ireland, after she died at Galway University Hospital last October after miscarrying her baby.

Praveen Halappanavar arrives at Galway Coroners Court for the inquest into the death of his wife Savita Halappanavar. Photo: PA
Praveen Halappanavar arrives at Galway Coroners Court for the inquest into the death of his wife Savita Halappanavar. Photo: PA

Her husband later said that they repeatedly requested an abortion from hospital staff before she died, but were refused. There was no note of her requests in his wife's medical records, he said.

Staff who treated Savita are not identified in the report. However, some are expected to be identified at the inquest into her death which opens in Galway Coroner's Court on April 8.

Other issues – such as the claim that doctors said Savita could not have an abortion because Ireland is a Catholic country – may also be raised at the inquest.

Mr Halappanavar refused to cooperate with the inquiry into Savita's death by the Health Service Executive, as he had called for a full public inquiry.

His dissatisfaction with the HSE was compounded when some of the report's draft findings were later leaked to the Evening Herald newspaper.

The Galway Hospital Group presented a final draft report to Praveen Halappanavar's solicitor on Friday.

He has been invited to make observations and to meet the chairman of the inquiry, Professor Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at University of London's St George's Hospital. The report will be published by the Minister for Health, after Mr Halappanavar has had an opportunity to respond to it.

Irish Independent

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