Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Father of Dr Savita Halappanavar to sue over daughter's death

The father of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar will sue the Irish hospital where his daughter died after being denied an abortion, despite the apparent risk to her life.

Andanappa Yalagi told the Irish Daily Star he "will definitely take legal action" as "the truth about what led to my daughter's death still has not come out".

Dr Halappanavar, 31, was 17 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to University Hospital Galway in Ireland on 21 October 2012 suffering a miscarriage.  

She died a week later of septicaemia after being repeatedly denied an abortion by medical staff who told her and husband Praveen Halappanavar that termination of the foetus was out of the question as Ireland "was a Catholic country".

Last week an inquest recorded a verdict of "Medical Misadventure" and placed the blame for Dr Halappanavar's death on "system failures" at the hospital.

Speaking to The Star from Belgaum in India, Dr Halappanavar's retired engineer father said he was extremely unhappy that “no-one has yet told us the real reason for my daughter’s death”.

“What I think is that the Government and the doctors need to take responsibility for what happened to Savita but so far no-one is doing that.

“No-one from the hospital or the Government — not the doctors, not the politicians — have spoken of the negligence that killed my daughter.

“I believe we will never get justice from the Irish Government so we are definitely going to take a legal action against the hospital.”

Mr Yalagi however, said he did wish to thank midwife Ann-Marie Burke who admitted during the inquest that she told Savita she could not have a termination in Ireland because it was a “Catholic thing”.

He said: “I salute her because she spoke the truth and if she came to India she would be welcome in my home…I invite her to come here because she told the truth.”

Mr Yalagi confirmed that his son-in-law Praveen, an engineer for Boston Scientific in Galway, is considering taking the case to the European Courts.

During the inquest, leading obstetrician Peter Boylan said he believed Savita would probably still be alive if she had been allowed an abortion when she was miscarrying before there was a risk to her life — by which time it was too late to save her.



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