Report finds difficulty interpreting the law a factor in Savita Halappanavar case

Tuesday 02 April 2013 21.45
Gerard O'Donnell (r) said Praveen Halappanavar wants to know why his wife died
Gerard O'Donnell (r) said Praveen Halappanavar wants to know why his wife died

The Health Service Executive's draft report into the death of Savita Halappanavar says that difficulty in interpreting the law on abortion by the medical personnel at Galway University Hospital was a factor in the case.

But it notes that this was one of several factors in relation to her care.

The report says that on the morning of Wednesday 24 October, after her admission to hospital on the previous Sunday, medical staff discussed the possibility of a termination of pregnancy and decided to await further blood test results.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, says he was unaware of this discussion of a termination of pregnancy.

Mrs Halappanavar was 17 weeks' pregnant with the couple's first child when she was admitted to the hospital. She died a week later.

The full inquest into her death is due to open in Galway on 8 April.

Mr Halappanavar's solicitor has said the draft report has found there was an overemphasis on the welfare of the foetus and not enough emphasis on her health.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Gerard O'Donnell said Mr Halappanavar is trying to get the truth of the matter.

He said he wants to know why there was not an early intervention in terms of a termination of the pregnancy.

Mr O'Donnell said he, along with a family friend who was present on the Saturday that Mrs Halappanavar died, will meet the chairman of the HSE inquiry team.

He said that Mr Halappanavar hopes that the chairman will be able to offer an explanation as to "why" this happened as opposed to "what" actually happened.

Mr Halappanavar has sought a full public inquiry and opted not to cooperate with the HSE investigation.