Savita Halappanavar

Death of savita halappanavar ( 1981 – Galway , 28 of October of 2012 ) was a woman Irish origin Indian , dental profession, who died at age 31 while pregnant. It was assumed that his death was due to the doctors’ denial of abortion. The Government of Ireland and the University Hospital of Galway determined that the pregnant woman died as a result of septicemia . A study published in October 2013 gave as a reason for death various errors due to poor medical management of the situation. 1


Savita Halappanavar appeared on October 28, 2012, complaining of severe back pain. She was treated at the Galway University Hospital and was taken to the hospital by her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway.

Savita Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant. The woman wanted to stop the pregnancy, after being informed by the doctors that she was suffering from a miscarriage, but the doctors refused to do so, because the heart of the fetus still beat and said: “This is a Catholic country.” [ Citation needed ]

Halappanavar continued to suffer two more days of intense pain and what her husband described as “agony” until the fetus’s heart stopped beating and was extracted from the woman’s womb.

When this happened it was too late, because Halappanavar suffered a generalized infection that caused him to die. The autopsy revealed that the woman had died of septicemia, a serious and life-threatening infection that worsens very quickly and can arise from infections throughout the body.


The death of Savita Halappanavar reopens the debate about the voluntary interruption of pregnancy in the country and the right of women to do so. The Irish authorities have opened an investigation. The Government of India today expressed its “concern” over the death in a hospital in Ireland of a pregnant Indian woman, after doctors refused to perform an abortion despite her life being in danger.

We deeply feel the death of Mrs. Halappanavar. The death of an Indian citizen under such circumstances is a matter of concern. Our embassy in Dublin is studying the matter.

Note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India

[ Citation needed ]

Some 2000 people gathered outside the Irish Parliament in Dublin to demand a change in the law on abortion after the death of women.

Discontinuation of pregnancy is only permitted in Ireland when the mother’s life is in danger. Questioned in the Irish parliament, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said he did not consider it appropriate to comment on the tragedy before having seen the findings of two investigations into the circumstances of the death of Savita Halappanavar, who was 17 weeks pregnant.

“The fact that a young woman has lost her life is a personal tragedy and a family tragedy. None of our words here can remedy it, “said Enda Kenny.

Irish Health Minister James Reilly confirmed the investigation by his department.

Several people protested at the polling station of Prime Minister Kenny, located in Castlebar, Mayo County, Dublin.

Human Rights Watch, the human rights organization denounced Savita Halappanavar’s death as a murder.

Response of anti-abortion groups

Anti-abortion groups in Ireland said that the recent death of Savita Halappanavar, a pregnant mother in Galway, was not caused by the ban on abortion in Ireland.

In a statement to ACI Prensa on Nov. 14, Youth Defense spokesperson Ide Nic Athuna noted that “there are provisions within our law and within our own good medical practice, and in hospitals we are never denied treatment to pregnant women “. “The abortion lobby is creating a media frenzy with this.”

Sinn Fein

The Sinn Fein fourth political party in Ireland, in the Irish Parliament introduced a motion to amend “urgently” the law of abortion and prevent deaths like death of savita halappanavar.


El Gobierno irlandés aseguró hoy que la investigación sobre la muerte de una mujer con un embarazo problemático, a la que se denegó un aborto en un hospital, seguirá adelante pese a la negativa de su marido a colaborar en la pesquisa.

Praveen, Savita’s husband, refuses to cooperate in the Government’s investigation because she considers that she does not offer guarantees of independence.

Irish Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin said the coalition government between conservative Fine Gael and Labor is “open to exploring any ideas” but recalled that the work of an independent investigating court, the preferred option for The Savita family, would be “much slower.”

El Departamento de Sanidad irlandés (HSE) ha formado un grupo de investigación encabezado por Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, jefe de ginecología y obstetricia de la Universidad San Jorge de Londres, que incluía también a otras seis personas, tres de ellas miembros del hospital donde falleció la mujer.

Retreat of specialists

In response to the husband’s complaints, the government has withdrawn those three specialists, but from pro-abortion groups, the election of Arulkumaran is now criticized as “unfortunate and inappropriate”, because they consider it an advocate of abortion.

Howlin said today that none of the seven members of the HSE research group will have “any connection” with this case, and promised that the process will be “objective, fair and fast”.

RTE report

  • Howlin Halappanavar- Recopilation of facts and research team

The Arulkumaran report

The Arulkumaran report was published on June 13, 2013. Three “key causal factors” for death were identified: inadequate assessment and follow-up, failure to provide all administration options to a patient, and failure to adhere to clinical guidelines related to The rapid and effective management of septicemia. [ Citation needed ]


Partly in response to the death of Savita Halappanavar, the Irish Government introduced a law on the protection of life during pregnancy in 2013. The bill was approved in the Dáil (lower house) and was discussed at the Seanad (Irish High House) on July 15, 2013. Having passed the two Irish Legislative Chambers in July 2013, it became law of the country, signed July 30 by Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland.

On 20 September 2013, Praveen Halappanavar’s lawyer filed legal proceedings against the University Hospital of Galway and separately against Dr. Katherine Astbury. They assert that Savita’s constitutional right to life had been violated and alleged 30 medical malpractice issues.


  1. Return to top↑ Cf. Patient Safety Investigation Report published by Health Information and Quality Authority (October 9, 2013). Accessed November 2, 2013.