The widower of dentist Savita Halappanavar has spoken out against Irish health officials, accusing the hospital that denied her abortion requests of erasing that fact from her medical records.
Praveen Halappanavar told The Belfast Telegraph that, while requests for amenities like toast and blankets are in her file at University Galway Hospital, the records provided to him do not include notes for Oct. 22, when the couple first requested the termination of her unviable pregnancy, and notes for the following day do not account for their second request.
He reiterated the charge in an interview with CNN, saying, “We’ve seen some tampering (with) the medical records — basically some key information in the medical reports is missing.”
Savita Halappanavar died six days later from septicaemia, a blood infection, with Galway doctors allegedly refusing the couple’s requests by saying, “This is a Catholic country.” Her death set off widespread protests against the country’s abortion laws, with pro-choice advicates saying Irish policy has forced hundreds of women to seek abortions in Great Britain.
CNN reported that while the Irish government eventually set up a medical inquiry into her death, three of the seven panel members were associated with Galway. They were eventually replaced, and India Today also reported that a separate legal inquiry is being set up in accordance with Praveen Halappanavar’s call for a public investigation.
He also had some harsh words for the country’s Health and Safety Executive, which administrates the country’s healthcare services.
“It’s time to get the facts and the truth for Savita,” Halappanavar told the newspaper. “I don’t have any faith in the HSE. I saw (the files) earlier this week. It was a blow and that was the reason why we never wanted the HSE inquiry.”
Watch CNN’s report on Praveen Halappanavar’s search for anwers, aired Friday, below.