Tuesday 24 April 2018

Widower's evidence to be contested

Galway University Hospital
Galway University Hospital

Savita Halappanavar's widower Praveen was not at the hospital when he claimed a consultant refused to terminate the pregnancy, an inquest has heard.

Consultant obstetrician Dr Katherine Astbury, who is at the centre of the allegation, will deny the claims when she gives evidence at a coroner's court later in the week.

She will also reveal she would have considered a termination if Ms Halappanavar's condition has worsened before she miscarried, it emerged.

A legal team for University Hospital Galway, where the Indian dentist died last October, claimed there were inaccuracies in the evidence her widower gave to the inquiry.

Under cross-examination Declan Buckley, senior counsel for the Health Service Executive and hospital staff, said Mr Halappanavar had been driving his parents-in-law to Dublin Airport on the morning of Tuesday, October 23, when he stated the doctor made the statement.

Mr Halappanavar admitted he may have got the day wrong, but stressed the comment was definitely made during the consultant's morning rounds.

"I'm absolutely certain Katherine Astbury told us 'it's a Catholic country'," he replied.

Dr Astbury was also accused of saying she would check the situation but never came back with an answer.

"Her evidence will be firstly that didn't happen," said Mr Buckley.

"Secondly, there would be no reason to go away and check because a termination was not warranted at that time."

Press Association

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