Halappanavar inquest: Husband forgives midwife

Praveen Halappanavar has forgiven the midwife. Picture: PA
Praveen Halappanavar has forgiven the midwife. Picture: PA
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THE widower of an Indian woman who died following a miscarriage in hospital in Ireland said he forgives a midwife who said a termination was not possible because of Catholic influence.

Praveen Halappanavar thanked the senior nurse for her honesty at the inquest into the death of his wife Savita, who died from septicaemia due to E.coli four days after she delivered her daughter dead.

As Mr Halappanavar arrived for day four of the inquiry, he was asked if he forgives and understands the comments by midwife Ann Maria Burke.

“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.”

The midwife manager at University Hospital Galway yesterday apologised for using the words “it’s a Catholic country” during a conversation she had with 31-year-old Mrs Halappanavar while she was in her care.

Ms Burke 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.

Mr 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 Mrs Halappanavar’s life at the time.

The widower said it has been very difficult sitting through the testimonies of medics, including Dr Astbury who admitted there were system failures in his late wife’s care.

“I seen it all,” he added. “It just gives some comfort that the truth is coming out.”

Mrs Halappanavar was admitted to hospital on Sunday, October 21 and delivered a dead baby daughter on Wednesday October 24.

She died the following Sunday of a heart attack.

The inquest at Galway courthouse continues.