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Savita husband taking inquiry case to Europe

THE husband of Savita Halappanavar is "distraught and distressed" at the refusal of Health Minister James Reilly to offer an independent inquiry into her death and will take his case to Europe.

Praveen Halappanavar insists that two investigations into his pregnant wife's death "do not represent him", his lawyer Gerard O'Donnell said.

A deadline for a last-ditch appeal from the grieving husband to Dr Reilly ran out yesterday.

"But we don't expect a response," said Mr O'Donnell, "so we are already working on the next legal step, which is taking the case to Europe."

Mrs Halappanavar, a 31-year-old dentist, died at Galway University Hospital on October 28, a week after being sent home from there despite complaints of back pains.

She was later admitted to the hospital and spent three subsequent days miscarrying her child.

Mr Halappanavar claims he and his wife repeatedly asked for the pregnancy to be terminated, but this was refused.

He claims one doctor said the operation wasn't possible because "this is a Catholic country".

Mr O'Donnell said Mr Halappanavar has been offered assistance by lawyers, doctors and international human rights organisations.

"I have been talking to counsel and I expect to finalise plans by early next week to take a case to the European Court of Human Rights," he said.

Mr Halappanavar is taking his case to Europe on the grounds that the two current inquiries, by the Health Service Executive and Health Information and Quality Authority, are a breach of his human rights under European legislation.

Irish Independent