Mullen critical of inquiry principal
HSE INVESTIGATION:Senator Rónán Mullen has questioned the suitability of the professor selected to head a HSE inquiry into the death of Savita Halappanavar following another article which he claimed highlighted the medic’s liberal views on abortion.
In an article co-written in 2007, Prof Arulkumaran and a colleague referred to the recommended method of termination for late-term pregnancies.
“For all late terminations of pregnancy, feticide by injection of intracardiac potassium chloride is recommended,” states the article, which appeared in the Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine journal.
It also states that these late terminations can be extremely traumatic, and parents must receive counselling prior to and after the procedure.
In a more recent article on safer childbirth in 2009, Prof Arulkumaran expressed views about abortion and safer childbirth in a joint paper published in International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics.
He said he would like to challenge and encourage societies and countries with restrictive abortion laws to look at the evidence available in favour of liberal abortion laws and debate the possibility of making the choice of termination of pregnancy a legal right for women.
Mr Mullen said these comments demonstrated the “unsuitability” of Prof Arulkumaran to chair the inquiry.
The HSE said Prof Arulkumaran was busy conducting the investigation into the recent maternal death and was not available to comment.
However, HSE chief executive designate Tony O’Brien said Prof Arulkumaran was a man of the “highest international reputation”.
“He is not conducting a reviews into the Irish Constitution, the X-case, its legal position or anything else,” he told RTÉ’s News at One. “He is here as a world-renowned clinician seeking to find out how Savita died.”