Savita Halappanavar's parents still wait for justice

Published: Jun 25, 2013, 16:44 IST | Agencies |

The grieving parents of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar, who died following a miscarriage in Ireland last year, say they are still waiting for justice as no one has taken responsibility for their daughter's death.

Savita's father Andanappa Yalagi and mother Akamahadevi described the recently released Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report into their daughter's death as a "whitewash". 

"I have read the news reports about it and they are very clear. It is only a clinical report. There is no responsibility in it. It is a whitewash for everyone," Yalagi told the 'Irish Times' newspaper from their home in Belgaum, Karnataka.

Savita Halappanavar
Savita Halappanavar

"The government is hiding behind the doctors and the hospital, and the doctors and hospital are hiding behind the law. It is not enough. There are lots of recommendations for what should have been done and what should be done in the future, but what about my Savita? Someone must take care and responsibility for my Savita," he added.

Their 31-year-old daughter had died of blood poisoning at the Galway University Hospital on October 28 last year at 17 weeks pregnant after she was found to be miscarrying.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, told an inquest into the death that she was repeatedly denied a termination that may have saved her life.

The 108-page HSE review into the case published last week identified inadequate monitoring of Savita as one of the key reasons for her death and makes a series of recommendations for maternity wards around Ireland.

"There were so many failures, yes. But why is no one taking responsibility? In India, if a healthy person died like this in a hospital there would be responsibility. We have not got justice from this report. My daughter's life has been sacrificed and there needs to be justice for that," her father said in reference to the report.

Savita's death had provoked worldwide debate around Ireland's strict anti-abortion laws as a Catholic country. Her parents called on the Irish government to urgently address the issue, as it prepares to publish legal guidance on life-saving abortions by next month.

"We were shocked when we heard about this law about abortion in Ireland. This is an evil law. How can this be a called a Christian law? God is merciful. He does not want women to die. Religion should have nothing to do with medicine," said her father. "How many Savitas do they want? They must look after Irish women. We would like a law that saves women," he added. 

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