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Abortion death: Savita's father again seeks public inquiry

November 27, 2012 12:29 IST

The father of Savita Halappanavar has appealed to the Irish government to hold a public inquiry into his daughter's death, claiming her family was not happy with the probe so far.

"We would like to appeal to the Irish government to please consider funding a public inquiry. We are not happy with the progress made so far. We don't understand the Health Service Executive's investigation. So once again I ask the Irish government to consider funding a public inquiry," said Andappa Yalagi, Savita's father.

Savita, 31, died from blood poisoning at the Galway University Hospital after doctors allegedly refused to perform an abortion stating "this is a Catholic country".

Savita's husband Praveen Halappanavar's attorney Gerard O'Donnell has also said his client was prepared to go to the European Court of Human Rights if an independent public inquiry was not set up.

Meanwhile, Praveen is also considering lodging a complaint to the Ombudsman to assert the ownership of his wife's medical notes, his solicitor has said.

O'Donnell said he had taken instructions from Praveen to seek direction from the Ombudsman on whether he or Galway University Hospital owns her medical records.

Praveen has objected to the use of his wife's notes in a HSE inquiry into her death. He has said he has no faith in a HSE-run inquiry and does not want her notes used in it.

O'Donnell had asked that the hospital, where Savita died in October, hand over the original medical notes. However, the HSE has said it owns them.

The Ombudsman has said it is unlikely her office would have a role in this dispute.

Praveen had met Minister for Health James Reilly in Galway last Friday.

The Health Information and Quality Authority will publish the terms of reference of its inquiry into her death this week.

The investigation, for which no time span is indicated, will make use of outside expertise, a spokesman indicated.

The authority said it would investigate the safety, quality and standards of services provided by the HSE at Galway University Hospital to "critically ill patients, including critically ill pregnant women, as reflected in the care and treatment provided to Savita Halappanavar".

The Galway University Hospital on Monday night confirmed it would co-operate fully with HIQA's inquiry.

H S Rao
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