Vascular surgeon to be ‘key witness’ at inquest into woman’s death

Malak Thawley (35) died after blood vessel damaged during ectopic pregnancy surgery

Malak Thawley (35) died last May after a blood vessel was damaged during surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. Photograph: CM Haughey Solicitors

The vascular surgeon involved in an emergency operation to save a pregnant woman’s life will be a key witness at an inquest into her death.

Malak Thawley (34) was taken to the National Maternity Hospital after a seven week scan revealed an ectopic pregnancy.

Outlining a list of witnesses to appear at the inquest, Liam Reidy, senior counsel for Ms Thawley's husband Alan Thawley, said the vascular surgeon's evidence would be crucial from the family's perspective.

The list of witnesses includes a number of doctors, a scrub nurse and a registrar, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard. The sequence of events leading up to events in the operating theatre will be outlined in detail at the inquest.


The family's legal team requested that Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street attend the inquest.

"There is a concern that systems contributed to the demise," Mr Reidy said. Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said she would consider the request.

Ms Thawley, a US citizen living in Blackrock in Dublin, was expecting her first child. She died due to a tear in the abdominal aorta during the course of surgery for an ectopic pregnancy.

An internal investigation by the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin found there was a delay in spotting a tear in the main artery and subsequent mismanagement of the problem. The seven week scan that revealed the ectopic pregnancy had been a gift from Mr Thawley to his wife.

The inquest was adjourned to a date in April that has yet to be confirmed.