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Savita's father seeks justice, may sue Irish hospital

April 24, 2013 22:49 IST

The bereaved father of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar has vowed to take legal action against the Irish hospital where his daughter died after being denied an abortion last October, saying he is not satisfied with the probe outcome.

"I believe we will never get justice from the Irish government so we are definitely going to take legal action against the hospital [University Hospital Galway]," Andanappa Yalagi told the Irish Daily Star from his home in Belgaum, Karnataka.

"No one has yet told us the real reason for my daughter’s death. I am not satisfied by the inquest because the truth about what led to my daughter's death still has not come out. What I think is that the government and the doctors need to take responsibility for what happened to Savita but so far no one is doing that,” he said.

“No one from the hospital or the government -- neither the doctors nor the politicians -- have spoken of the negligence that killed my daughter," he added, in reference to the "medical misadventure" verdict at the end of a seven-day inquest at Galway Courthouse last Friday.

The 31-year-old Indian dentist was 17 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to University Hospital Galway in October 2012 after suffering a miscarriage.

She died in intensive care from multi-organ failure from septic shock and E coli, four days after she delivered a dead foetus.

A spokesperson for the hospital has since acknowledged there were lapses in the standards of care provided to Savita.

Expert witnesses at her inquest said that a timely abortion may have saved Savita’s life.

A mid-wife, Ann-Marie Burke, had come forward during the hearings to confirm her family's claim that Savita had been denied an abortion on the ground that Ireland was a "Catholic country".

"I salute her because she spoke the truth and if she came to India she would be welcome in my home. I invite her to come here because she told the truth," Savita's father said in reference to the mid-wife’s testimony.

Savita's husband, Praveen Halappanavar, has already revealed plans to take the case to the European Court of Justice.

Meanwhile, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has said he is hopeful that long-awaited abortion legislation will be ready as planned by July.

Speaking to Midwest Radio, Kenny said clarity must be brought to the law.

"It's a sensitive issue. It's one that requires very careful consideration because you are talking about two lives, the life of the mother and the life of the unborn," he said.

Aditi Khanna In London
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