The husband of Savita Halappanavar request was granted on Tuesday, after he asked that employees of the Galway University Hospital, where his pregnant wife died, be removed from the inquiry into her death.
There has been a public outcry since the news broke last Tuesday that Savita Halappanavar, (31), died at Galway hospital on October 28th of septicaemia seven days after she presented with back pain. She was miscarrying at 17 weeks and despite repeatedly requesting a termination, was denied as there was a foetal heartbeat present.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) announced details of the inquiry team during a press conference in Dublin on Monday. The inquiry panel included Galway hospital employees, John J Morrison, a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology; Catherine Fleming, consultant in infectious disease and Brian Harte, consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care.
Praveen Halappanavar arrived back to Ireland from India on Sunday. Speaking to the Irish Times, the widower said no employees of Galway hospital should take part in the inquiry.
“As long as it is a fully independent inquiry so that the truth will come out. It does bother me that there are people from Galway hospital on the inquiry. I would prefer no Galway people on the inquiry. I will basically request that there be no-one from Galway on it.
“I was in India for nearly two weeks and I never heard from the hospital . . . So I had to see people became aware . . . I don’t think there would be any inquiry if there was not the public pressure. I think there would have been an inquest and no one would have known this happened.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Prime Minister Enda Kenny announced the Government had decided that no consultants from the hospital would be involved in the inquiry.
The Irish leader said the decision had been made to show regard for “the traumatic effect on Savita’s husband and family and in the greater public interest at large.”
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“The three doctors will not be part of the investigation and therefore different personnel who are competent, who are experienced and who have no connection to Galway University Hospital will be appointed,” Kenny stated.
An engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, Praveen said he was disappointed by the Government’s reaction.
“It is a pity because I thought Ireland would care more for someone so young who died. That let me down. I was not happy about that.”
“The law has to change. Maybe Savita was born to change the laws here.”