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Praveen: Savita's treatment was 'horrendous, barbaric and inhuman'

THE widower of an Indian dentist who died after being refused a termination in an Irish hospital as she miscarried has said his wife's treatment was "horrendous, barbaric and inhuman".

After an inquest jury ruled unanimously that Savita Halappanavar's death was by medical misadventure, her husband Praveen said his wife was left to die


Mrs Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant when admitted to the University Hospital Galway on October 21 last year with an inevitable miscarriage.


She died from multi-organ failure from septic shock and E.coli, four days after she delivered a dead foetus.


Speaking in Galway after the verdict, Mr Halappanavar said his wife did not benefit in any way going to the hospital until the Wednesday afternoon, when transferred to high dependency and on to intensive care.


"It was too late," he said, after the eight day hearing.


"The care she received was in no way different to staying at home.


"Medicine is all about preventing the natural history of the disease and improving the patient's life and health and look what they did. She was just left there to die.


"We were always kept in the dark.


"If Savita would have known her life was at risk she would have jumped off the bed, straight to a different hospital. But we were never told.


"It's horrendous, barbaric and inhuman the way Savita was treated in that hospital."


The couple should have been celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary today.


Mr Halappanavar said he is still considering further action through the courts in Europe as be believes his wife's human right to life was breached.


The jury at Galway coroner's court deliberated for two hours and 40 minutes before it returned the verdict and endorsed nine recommendations that were designed to protect patients in the future.


The misadventure verdict found that there were systemic failures or deficiencies in Mrs Halappanavar's care before she died, but coroner Dr Ciaran MacLoughlin warned that they did not contribute to her death.


Mr Halappanavar, 34, shook hands with the coroner and jury members at the end of the hearing, moments after his solicitor openly thanked the coroner for his "extraordinary sensitivity and logic" during the inquest.


The coroner had told the widower the whole of Ireland sympathised with him.


"Praveen, I want to offer you my sincerest and deepest condolences on the death of Savita," Dr MacLoughlin said.


"You showed tremendous loyalty in the love to her during her last week .


"The whole of Ireland has followed your story and I want, on their behalf, to offer our deepest sympathy.


"You will also be watched over and protected by the shadow of Savita who was in our thoughts during this painful and difficult journey."


The wedding anniversary is not the first time the widower has been forced to relive his ordeal on a significant date. He was given a health service internal review of his wife's death on March 30, the day their baby Prasa had been due.


During seven days of often graphic and upsetting evidence, the jury heard that Mrs Halappanavar would probably still be alive today if the law in Ireland allowed an abortion as she miscarried before there was a real risk to her life, by which time it was too late to save her.


Leading obstetrician Peter Boylan outlined a number of deficiencies in her care, but stressed that none on its own was likely to have resulted in Mrs Halappanavar's death.

Online Editors