Political reaction: ‘We all know she should be alive today’

Lessons must be learned from report, all parties agree

Sir Sabaratnam Arulkatumaran (left),  chairman, and Dr Philip Crowler, national director for quality and patient safety, at the publication of the Health Service Executive  clinical review report on the death of Savita Halappanavar, in Dublin yesterday.   Photograph: Eric Luke

Sir Sabaratnam Arulkatumaran (left), chairman, and Dr Philip Crowler, national director for quality and patient safety, at the publication of the Health Service Executive clinical review report on the death of Savita Halappanavar, in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Eric Luke

Fri, Jun 14, 2013, 01:00


Lessons have to be learned from the report into the death of Savita Halappanavar, politicians from all parties have said.

Fine Gael TD for Meath East Regina Doherty said: “In a way it’s good that her family and husband finally know what happened, but it makes the tragedy even bigger. We all know she should be alive today.”

Labour deputy for Waterford Ciara Conway described the report’s findings about the “poor procedures” around the treatment of sepsis in Ms Halappanavar’s case as “alarming”.

“It’s very sad that the report said the lack of legislation impeded the kind of treatment she could’ve been provided with,” she added.

Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher said the report made for difficult reading. The findings were extremely serious and lessons had to be learned, but he said the treatment of the Halappanavar family had been extremely disappointing.

“Savita Halappanavar’s death was a tragedy but the pain endured by her husband and her family has been compounded by the lack of respect shown to them by the HSE,” Mr Kelleher said.


‘Damning indictment’
Sinn Féin health spokesman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said the report was a “ damning indictment” with “far-reaching implications”. He said there was an expectation among the public that “if serious lapses by individuals, as well as systems, occurred then individuals should be held to account”.

The Pro Life Campaign welcomed the publication of the HSE review and said efforts by the political establishment and the media to use it to bolster calls for abortion legislation had been “opportunistic”.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ireland, which has been vocal in the wider debate surrounding abortion legislation, did not respond to a request for comment on the HSE report last night.