Praveen Halappanavar thanked the senior nurse for her honesty at the inquest into the death of his wife Savita. The 31-year-old died from septicaemia due to E.coli four days following a miscarriage.
Halappanavar thanked midwife Ann Burke for her honesty. Burke, a midwife manager at Galway University Hospital where Savita died, had told the inquest she was very upset about the ‘Catholic country’ remark and that she did not mean it in a hurtful context.
She insisted she said it in kindness and was explaining the law of the land and the differences between Ireland and other countries and was not being insensitive. As Halappanavar arrived for day four of the inquiry in Galway, he was asked if he understood and forgave the comments by the midwife.
“Oh yes I do,” he said. “And I would like to thank her for being so honest. I think it came out of the blue. Yes.” Halappanavar said he still sticks to his allegation that his wife’s consultant obstetrician, Dr Katherine Astbury, said the same comment.
The senior medic has denied the claim, insisting she refused a termination the day before the miscarriage because there was no risk to Halappanavar’s life at the time.
The back story
Savita Halappanavar was admitted to hospital on October 21 and delivered a dead baby daughter on October 24. She died the following Sunday.