Saturday, November 24, 2012

Public inquiry into Savita’s death not ruled out

LONDON, November 24, 2012 (PTI)

A senior Irish government official has not ruled out a public inquiry into the death of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar, who died due to pregnancy-related complications after being denied abortion in Ireland.

Eamon Gilmore, the second most senior officer in the Irish government has said the priority was getting to the bottom of the 31-year-old dentist's death after a miscarriage, according to a report in The Irish times.

"I wouldn't rule anything out," Mr Gilmore said.

His comments follow the announcement of a second investigation into Savita death - a statutory review by the Health Information and Quality Authority.

Minister for Health James Reilly is considering continued requests for an open inquiry. He met Praveen Halappanavar, husband of the late Savita in Galway for 25-minutes on Friday.

Mr Praveen was accompanied by his solicitor Gerard O'Donnell.

Speaking afterwards Mr O'Donnell described their talks as "positive". Mr Reilly expressed condolences to Mr Praveen on his behalf and on behalf of the government.

Savita died at the Galway hospital on October 28.

Savita, who was 17-week pregnant when she died, had miscarried and subsequently suffered septicaemia.

Her husband says that doctors refused to carry out an abortion because a foetal heartbeat was present. He says they were told Ireland "is a Catholic country."

Mr Praveen wants a public inquiry into Savita's death, saying he has no faith in the Health Service Executive (HSE) to investigate the death without possible bias.

Asked whether the possibility of a public inquiry into her death had been raised at the meeting with Minister Reilly, Mr O'Donnell said, "He [Reily] said he was very sorry and indicated he would do whatever is possible. We had a good discussion. Praveen let him know his wish for a public inquiry, and that that was the wishes of Savita's family. I get the impression he is considering everything we said."

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