Irish Minister condoles tragic death of Dr. Savita Halappanavar

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 23, 2012 11:53 hrs

The Government of Ireland will frame guidelines for medical practitioners in tackling intricate situations while treating pregnant women with foetal complications in future, said that country's Junior Minister of Training and Skills Ciaran Cannon on Friday.

Cannon is currently on a visit to India, and revealed this information on the sidelines of an Indo-Irish conference in Bangalore.

Condoling the tragic death of Indian dentist Dr. Savita Halappanavar in an Irish hospital because she was refused termination of her pregnancy, Cannon said that the Irish Government would take steps to avoid a repetition of such incidents in the future.

Many in India were outraged over the death of 31-year-old Dr. Savita Halappanavar who died of septicaemia following a miscarriage 17 weeks into her pregnancy.

Protests over her death were also staged in Ireland. Members of Indian community residing in Ireland took part in the demonstrations.

The Irish health Authority (HSE) has launched an inquiry into the causes leading to Savita's demise and a decades-long debate has also been reopened in the country over whether the government should legislate to explicitly allow abortion when the health of a mother is at risk.

Cannon, who is leading an Irish delegation of academicians and educational experts, told mediapersons that not only the government but also the common people of Ireland have shared their sympathies for Savita over the past few weeks.

"I also want to express here in Bangalore my deepest sympathy and condolences to Savita's family. And the Irish people have marched in considerable numbers over the last week or so. We have had upto 20,000 people marching on the streets of Ireland to express their sympathies, and also their heartfelt wish that a situation like this would never occur in Ireland again," said Ciaran Cannon.

According to her husband Praveen, Savita Halappanavar was admitted to hospital in severe pain on October 21 and she sought a termination after doctors told her the baby would not survive.

The foetus was surgically removed when its heartbeat stopped days later, but her family believes the delay contributed to the blood poisoning that killed her on October 28.

However, Cannon claimed that his country has one of the best health care systems in the world and added to say the government would look into the details of Savita's death and then pass its judgement in the matter.

"Our Ireland remains one of the safest places in the world to have a baby. We are very proud of our health system and the care that have given to every person who comes to the doors of our hospitals. What we need to do now in Ireland is finally establish the exact details how Savita's tragic death came about, and ensure that once we have that information then we will be able to bring clarity to medical practitioners as to how exactly they should operate in an instance or a crisis like this," added Ireland's Minister Ciaran Cannon.

Activists in the overwhelmingly Catholic country, which has some of the world's most rigid laws on abortion, say the refusal by doctors to terminate the pregnancy earlier may have contributed to Halappanavar's death.

Irish law does not specify exactly when the threat to the life or health of the mother is high enough to justify a termination, leaving doctors to decide. Critics say this means doctors' personal beliefs can play a crucial role. (ANI)

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