Ireland abortion death inquiry

Irish officials have removed three consultants from an inquiry into the death of a pregnant Indian woman in hospital. Praveen Halappanavar, whose wife Savita died after a miscarriage, had refused to co-operate unless the doctors were removed.

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Irish health watchdog launches inquiry into Savita death

Savita Halappanavar
Savita Halappanavar Credit: The Irish Times

The Irish public health watchdog has announced it will investigate the death of Savita Halappanavar the 31-year-old dentist who died during a miscarriage, having been denied a termination.

The Irish Republic's health service is already conducting a clinical review into the case, but an independent health safety body will conduct a parallel inquiry.

Savita Halappanavar's husband Praveen has asked for a full, sworn public inquiry into her death.

Three consultants removed from inquiry into death of a pregnant Indian woman

Savita Halappanavar, 31, died in an Irish hospital after being refused an abortion. Credit: Irish Times

Health officials in Ireland have conceded to demands and removed three consultants from a high level inquiry into the death of a pregnant Indian woman in hospital.

Praveen Halappanavar, whose wife Savita died in Galway University Hospital on 28 October after a miscarriage, had refused to co-operate unless the senior doctors were removed.

All three are employed by the west of Ireland hospital which caused fears of a conflict of interest.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny urged Mr Halappanavar to support the inquiry.

He said: "The three doctors will not be part of the investigation and therefore different personnel who are competent, who are experienced and who have no connection to Galway University Hospital will be appointed."

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MEPs call for Ireland abortion law changes

Fifty-three members of the European parliament have called on the Irish Government to legislate on abortion after a woman died after being refused an abortion.

Savita Halappanavar, 31, was 17 weeks pregnant when she died after suffering a miscarriage and septicaemia.

Protesters in Ireland calls for changes to the law on abortion
Protesters in Ireland have called for changes to the law on abortion Credit: Press Assocation

The letter was initiated by Irish MEP Paul Murphy and MEP Mikael Gustafsson, who is chair of the Women's Rights and Equality Committee.

Mr Murphy said:

"The breadth of support for this letter demonstrates the anger that exists around the world at the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar, a death that could have been avoided by legislation on abortion in Ireland. As 20,000 people demanded yesterday on the streets of Dublin - we need legislation now."

Father of dead woman urges for change in abortion laws

The father of Savita Halappanavar has urged Ireland's prime minister to change the country's abortion laws.

Andanappa Yalagi said altering the legislation would "save the lives of so many women in the future".

In an interview with the Observer, he directly addressed Taoiseach Enda Kenny, saying:

Sir, please change your law and take consideration of humanity.

Please change the law on abortion, which will help to save the lives of so many women in the future.

We want the government of India to put pressure on Ireland to change the law so that this cannot happen in the future.

– Andanappa Yalagi

Mr Yalagi revealed that he is also considering legal action against the hospital.

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Protesters demand changes to abortion law in Ireland

Thousands of people have taken part in a protest march in Dublin to call for changes to abortion law after a woman died after being refused an abortion.

Savita Halappanavar, 31, was 17 weeks pregnant when she died after suffering a miscarriage and septicaemia.

Protesters hold a vigil in Dublin after the death of Savita Halappanavar who was refused an abortion
Protesters hold a vigil in Dublin after the death of Savita Halappanavar who was refused an abortion Credit: Press Assocation
A protester holds a candle and poster with Savita Halappanavar's face on it
A protester holds a candle and poster with Savita Halappanavar's face on it Credit: Press Assocation

Senior consultant: No confusion over Ireland's abortion laws

A senior consultant said he believes there is no evidence of confusion within medical ranks in Ireland over whether or not a woman can have an abortion if her life is at risk.

No. Not in relation to where a mother's health is at risk.

I think most of us who work in obstetrics and gynaecology, there may be individual differences, but the majority would be of the view that if the health is such a risk that there is a risk of death and we are dealing with a foetus that is not viable, there is only one answer to that question, we bring the pregnancy to an end.

– Dr Sam Coulter-Smith, master of the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin

Savita's husband describes her final days in hospital

The husband of Savita Halappanavar told Irish national broadcaster RTE his wife was experiencing a "normal pregnancy" and was "so excited about the birth" until the weekend of October 21, a week before she died on October 28.

The couple rushed to the hospital on Sunday morning as Savita was experiencing "acute pain".

After being examined and sent home the couple returned to hospital, Praveen Halappanavar left the room to allow his wife to be examined by a doctor.

In an interview with RTE Radio's News At One, he said:

I was called in, and I could see Savita in tears, in shock, and she told me it was a cervical dilation, and... they don't think the baby can survive, and there was no way to go about that.

And he said unfortunately, I am sorry, we can't save the baby.

The medical team told Praveen his wife was miscarrying and that it "would all be over in a few hours."

However, this did not happen, and Savita's condition deteriorated through the week.

On Tuesday night, things started getting worse, she was very very cold, and then on Friday morning, the nurse asked me if I had told her family back home, but Savita didn't to worry her parents, and the nurse said no, you have to tell them she is critically ill.

On Saturday night, I was told she was critical, the midwife, she told me to be brave and asked me did I want to be there with her dying, and then.... the doctor told me we lost her.

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