Savita Halappanavar's husband hints authorities tampering with evidence

Savitas abortion requests missing

Higgins said he spoke out to express the great sadness felt in Ireland, but some felt he was sidestepping his obligation not to make political statements.

"I said it's very important that the investigation be such as satisfies the genuine concern of the Irish people and that helps reduce the grief for Savita's husband and her family."

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."

Irish Minister for Health James Reilly, meanwhile, said the likely announcement of a second State inquiry into the death of Savita is "an extra dimension, rather than a U-turn", The board of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is expected to confirm shortly that it will undertake a statutory investigation into Savita's death, following a request from the HSE.

It was unclear whether Praveen, who says he will have nothing to do with the HSE inquiry, will cooperate with the investigation to be conducted by the authority, which is the State's health watchdog.

According to a report in The Irish Times, his solicitor Gerard O'Donnell last night said he was "not ruling out" participation in the HIQA inquiry.

However, it was key for his client that it "sits in public, is open and witnesses are called".

The authority conducts its investigations in private and does not take statements under oath but is free to draw up its own terms of reference.

Reilly welcomed the involvement of HIQA, saying it would provide "even greater ventilation" of the issues at stake in Savita's death, his spokesman said.

Asked why the Minister had not used his powers under the 2007 Health Act to order HIQA to investigate the matter in the first place, he said the HSE was following a protocol, which requires it to get clarity about the facts involved and ensure that a safe service was being provided for patients.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.