Inquiry into Savita Halappanavar’s Death Already Tainted

Investigations have been launched into the death of Savita Halappanavar, the Indian woman who died in Ireland after having a miscarriage. Already, there are suggestions of tampering, given revelations that hospital records have been edited to delete her multiple requests for an abortion.

Now, her husband has provided his own timeline of events to the Irish Times, and his story is told in heartbreaking detail, especially in the hours prior to Savita’s death.

October 27th 

On Saturday things worsen and Savita’s heart, liver and kidney start to fail. There is talk of putting her on dialysis as she goes into multi-organ failure.

“The doctor asked me to come into his office and he had a chat with me. He said that he thought I should tell people – her folks and family – that she is very, very ill.” He goes to the hospital chapel to pray. At about midnight, a nurse comes to find him. “While we were walking the corridor she took my hand and asked me, ‘Are you okay to be next to Savita during her last few minutes? I think we are losing her’.

“I felt everything was just numb. It was the end of the world. Then I walked in and there was a big team around her. They were trying to pump her heart. The minute the doctor saw me, she came and held my hand and said, ‘You know what’s happening?’ I said yes. She said: ‘We are losing her. She is dying’.”

October 28th 

At nine minutes past 1am, Savita dies.

Savita’s husband, Praveen, has expressed concern that the inquiry into his wife’s death will be mishandled, especially after news broke that the requests for an abortion had been found missing from the hospital reports. He had refused to allow the hospital to use her records in the investigation, saying he had no faith in their inquiry.

The investigation is expected to conclude before Christmas.

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  • crowepps
    Sunday, November 25, 2012, 8:17 PM

    From the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Office:

    The death of Mrs. Savita Halappanavar and her unborn child in University Hospital Galway on the 28 October last was a devastating personal tragedy for her husband and family. It has stunned our country. We share the anguish and sorrow expressed by so many at the tragic loss of a mother and her baby in these circumstances and we express our sympathy to the family of Mrs. Halappanavar and all those affected by these events.

    In light of the widespread discussion following the tragic death of Mrs Halappanavar and her unborn baby, we wish to reaffirm some aspects of Catholic moral teaching. These were set out in our recently published Day for Life message on 7 October last, available on

    – The Catholic Church has never taught that the life of a child in the womb should be preferred to that of a mother. By virtue of their common humanity, a mother and her unborn baby are both sacred with an equal right to life.

    – Where a seriously ill pregnant woman needs medical treatment which may put the life of her baby at risk, such treatments are ethically permissible provided every effort has been made to save the life of both the mother and her baby.

    – Whereas abortion is the direct and intentional destruction of an unborn baby and is gravely immoral in all circumstances, this is different from medical treatments which do not directly and intentionally seek to end the life of the unborn baby. Current law and medical guidelines in Ireland allow nurses and doctors in Irish hospitals to apply this vital distinction in practice while upholding the equal right to life of both a mother and her unborn baby.

    – Some would claim that the unborn baby is less human or less deserving of life. Advances in genetics and technology make it clear that at fertilization a new, unique and genetically complete human being comes into existence. From that moment onwards each of us did not grow and develop into a human being, but grew and developed as a human being.

    With many other religious and ethical traditions we believe in upholding the equal and inalienable right to life of a mother and her unborn child in our laws and medical practice. This helps to ensure that women and babies receive the highest standard of care and protection during pregnancy.

    Indeed, international statistics confirm that Ireland, without abortion, remains one of the safest countries in the world in which to be pregnant and to give birth. This is a position that should continue to be cherished and strengthened in the interests of mothers and unborn children in Ireland.

    To sum up — the doctors followed our rules to the letter – tough luck, lady