Husband should see Savita report before it is finalised - solicitor

Fri, Feb 15, 2013, 00:00

Praveen Halappanavar should be provided with a copy of the report into his wife Savita’s death before it is finalised, according to his solicitor.

Gerard O’Donnell said it was essential that Mr Halappanavar was given an opportunity to ensure there were no inaccuracies in the report on his wife’s death in Galway University Hospital last year.

Minister for Health James Reilly has offered to provide Mr Halappanavar with the final report before it is published but Mr O’Donnell said this would be too late.

He said he was contacted by the Health Service Executive only last week with an offer to meet the chairman of the investigation team, Prof Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, but told officials he wanted to see the report first before considering a meeting.

Less faith

He said he had even less faith in the HSE now than before details of the draft report were leaked earlier this week. He questioned why the HSE did not put in place measures to prevent a leak or, if one occurred, to trace those responsible.

Sinn Féin called on the Government to provide the family with a copy of the report immediately. Describing the leaking of the report before Mr Halappanavar saw it as an act of “gross insensitivity”, deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said he had been treated appallingly throughout the entire process.

Minister for Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin insisted Mr Halappanavar would be the first to receive the findings when the report is finalised. He said it was “shameful, unacceptable and hurtful” that a draft was leaked.

‘Renewed distress’

“All our focus should be on the renewed distress of the family of Savita Halappanavar, particularly her husband. The pain must be unbearable,” Mr Howlin told the Dáil.

But Ms McDonald said it was not good enough for Mr Howlin to say Dr Reilly did not have the report. “James Reilly needs to get a copy of the report and have one provided to the Halappanavar family as a matter of urgency.”

The HSE inquiry has investigated Ms Halappanavar’s treatment at the hospital, where she died on October 28th last.