Reilly hopeful Praveen Halappanavar will contribute to HSE report

Husband of woman who died in Galway declines to meet chairman of review group

Minister for Health James Reilly has said he hopes Praveen Halappanavar will contribute to the final report on the circumstances which led to the death of his wife Savita.

Cautioning that he had not yet read the initial report of a review group into what happened, Dr Reilly said it would be unacceptable "if it were true" that more emphasis had been placed on Ms Halappanavar's unviable foetus, and not enough on her deteriorating condition.

Dr Reilly said he understood Mr Halappanavar had refused to meet the chairman of the review group Professor Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, and he said the final report would not be complete until Mr Halappanavar had added his account. "I genuinely hope his input will be included" he said.

Dr Reilly said he was hoping to meet Prof Sir Sabaratnam.


Asked if he was aware that Mr Halappanavar was unhappy with aspects of the draft repor, Dr Reilly replied: "How could any man who has lost his wife be happy" he said."I don't expect that of him. He has suffered a tremendous tragedy and we have to give him time."

Ms Halappanavar (31) was 17 weeks pregnant when she presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st. Her husband claims she was denied a termination despite asking for one several times following her miscarriage diagnosis because the foetal heartbeat was still present.

She spent two days "in agony" until the foetal heartbeat stopped and surgery was carried out to remove the dead foetus. She died of septicaemia on the 28th.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist