Savita case: Irish President steps in

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 23, 2012 05:22 hrs

Irish President Michael D. Higgins has said that the inquiry into the death of Savita Halappanavar must meet the needs of both her family and the state, reports said.

The President´s comments is likely to increase the pressure on the government.

According to The Irish Times, sources said the as planned the inquiry would be conducted in private. However, Savita´s husband Praveen is seeking a public inquiry.

"If they use those records (medical records of Savita), then I will certainly be on to the data protection office and it may well be that that also involves bringing a court application by way of an injunction to restrain them from using those records," Praveen´s solicitor Gerard O'Donnell said. Praveen has refused to cooperate if the inquiry is not held in the way he wants it.

"These people are salaried by the HSE (Health Service Executive)... They pay them. We think that there would be some kind of bias during the investigation," Praveen said at an interview.

He said he and his wife were told by medical staff a termination on medical grounds was not possible as a foetal heartbeat was present and due to Ireland being a "Catholic country".

"We just can't believe that in the 21st century," he said.

Savita, a dentist, came on October 21 with back pain at Galway University Hospital where she was found to be miscarrying at 17 weeks.

Praveen, an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, said she had asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. But this was refused.

The dead foetus was later removed and Savita was taken to the high dependency unit and then the intensive care unit, where she died of septicaemia on October 28.

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