Friday 22 February 2019

Savita Halappanavar: Final report into controversial death delayed

Savita Halappanavar
Savita Halappanavar

By Claire Murphy and Caroline Crawford

THE final report into the controversial death of Savita Halappanavar has been delayed with its publication said to be still “some time away”.

Health Minister James Reilly previously said that he had expected to receive a copy of the final investigation by the beginning of this week.

Dr Reilly made the comments after Evening Herald exclusively revealed a litany of damning findings contained in the draft report into Ms Halappanavar’s death earlier this month.

At that time the Health Minister stated that he had not seen a copy of the draft report but expected to receive a copy of the final report within days.

Now, however, HSE sources say it is “impossible to put a timeline” on a final deadline for the report’s publication. Mrs Halappanavar (31) was 17 weeks pregnant and was miscarrying when she attended Galway University Hospital on October 21, 2012.

She was complaining of back pain, and died one week later of a massive infection.

The HSE inquiry into her death was established on November 20 under Professor Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at St George’s Hospital, University of London. In response to a query from the Herald, a HSE spokesperson said there is no sign of a final report at this stage.

“The investigation team continues its work to deliver a comprehensive investigation report,” a spokesman told the Evening Herald.

“The team is carrying out this work as expeditiously as possible while also complying with natural justice and due process requirements that arise in these circumstances.”

A solicitor for Ms Halappanavar's husband Praveen, Gerard O'Donnell, said that he has still not been furnished with a copy of the report into the death of Savita more than two weeks after the findings of the draft report were published.

“We have received nothing so far and been given no explanation. I have once again written to the Health Minister looking for the report and querying why we were still waiting for it. I have not received a response,” said Mr O'Donnell.

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