Savita Halappanavar’s husband could take case to European Court of Human Rights

Savita Halappanavar
The husband of Indian woman Savita Halappanavar, who died due to pregnancy-related complications after being denied abortion in Ireland, could go to the European Court of Human Rights unless there is a sworn public inquiry into his wife's death.

A statutory Health Information and Quality Authority probe into Savita's death after suffering a miscarriage in University Hospital, Galway, was announced yesterday.

But Praveen Halappanavar's solicitor Gerard O'Donnell insisted that he has always made it very clear that he wanted a public inquiry.

He made it clear that he wants to get to the truth of the matter so I don't think the framework of HIQA will suffice, the Sun reports.

According to the report, Health Minister James Reilly sympathised in person when he met Praveen, 34, for the first time, and said 'the court in Strasbourg might certainly look at a case like this."

Meanwhile, the Irish public health watchdog has announced that it has launched a probe into the matter.

Dentist Savita, 31, died on October 28 after she was refused a potentially life-saving abortion.

Praveen believes she would still be alive if she had been granted an abortion days earlier, when she was told she was losing her baby.

The widower alleged doctors refused his wife's requests because there was a foetal heartbeat.

A senior Irish official said that the government had not ruled out a public inquiry into the death of dentist Savita Halappanavar.

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," 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.

Asked whether the possibility of a public inquiry into her death had been raised at the meeting with Minister Reilly, 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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