Galway University Hospital staff have confirmed that tragic Indian mother Savita Halappanavar asked for an abortion just days before she died last October.
As the inquest into the 31-year-old’s death opened in Galway on Friday, it emerged that statements provided confirm her husband Praveen’s assertion that she had asked for a termination and was refused.
The Irish Times reports that the statements to the inquest confirm her husband Praveen’s version of what happened in the days before she died on October 28th.
Savita was 17 weeks pregnant when she attended the hospital a week earlier with severe back pain and was found to be miscarrying.
Praveen had told the Irish Times after her death that she had been in pain and had repeatedly asked for a medical termination over a three-day period.
Her request for an abortion was refused as a foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told ‘this is a Catholic country’.
Savita died in the hospital’s intensive care unit, four days after the foetal heartbeat stopped.
The report adds that an autopsy by Dr Grace Callagy found she died of septicaemia ‘documented ante-mortem’ and E.coli ESBL.
The inquest will hear from up to 50 statements taken by police from staff at Galway University Hospital and friends of the late Savita and from her husband.
Praveen’s solicitor Gerard O’Donnell told the Irish Times: “Having looked at all the statements I am completely confident everything my client has said will be proved to be correct.”
West Galway coroner Dr Ciarán McLoughlin will set out on Friday how the inquest will proceed with a full hearing likely to be in March.
The Irish Times understands that the consultant who treated Halappanavar at Galway University Hospital confirms in her statement to the inquest that she was asked for a termination and she gave the legal reasons why one could not be provided.
The paper says it is also understood that her statement is backed up by those of other hospital staff.