India expresses concern over death of dentist in Ireland

Savita Halappanavar

Expressing "concern" over the circumstances in which an Indian woman dentist died in Ireland, India on Thursday said it is awaiting the results of two probes ordered by Irish authorities in the matter and will "take it from there".

"We deeply regret the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar. The death of an India national in such circumstances is a matter of concern. Our embassy in Dublin is following the matter closely," official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs, Syed Akbaruddin said.

Akbaruddin said the MEA has also conveyed its sympathies to the family of the deceased.

Halappanavar, 31, died in Ireland due to blood poisoning after doctors allegedly refused to terminate her 17-week-long pregnancy, telling her that "this is a Catholic country".

Akbaruddin also said, "We understand that the Irish authorities have initiated two inquiries. We are awaiting the results of these inquiries and we will take it from there."

Savita's husband Praveen Halappanavar, an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, told Irish media that his wife asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated.

This was refused, he said, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, "this is a Catholic country".

The dead foetus was later removed and Savita was taken to the high dependency unit and then the intensive care unit, where she died of septicaemia on October 28.

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