Miscarrying Woman Dies in Irish Hospital: Denied Care until Fetal Heartbeat Stopped

Leslie Carol Botha: A crime has been committed – and those responsible need to pay. There is no excuse for a University Hospital to deny care to any woman who is miscarrying. There is no excuse for any hospital to put the life of a dying fetus over the life of the mother.

Miscarrying woman died after she was forced to wait until foetal heartbeat stopped

17-week pregnant woman dies in Irish hospital after doctors refuse termination

Irish Central


IrishCentral Staff Writer
Published Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 7:14 AM

A 17-week pregnant woman who was denied a termination after being told she was miscarrying died in a Galway hospital “in agony,” her husband said.

Savita Halappanavar — Doctors at Galway University Hospital refused to perform a medical termination

Two investigations are now under way.

Savita Halappanavar (31), an Indian native and dentist in Galway, died of septic shock a week after being admitted, the Irish Times has revealed.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), who is an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says his wife asked several times for her pregnancy to be terminated but was refused because the foetal heartbeat was present and they were told “this is a Catholic country.”

He said she spent two and half days in agony until the heartbeat stopped.

Read more: Undercover investigation of Irish family planning clinics reveals illegal abortion advice

The dead foetus was finally removed but the woman was rushed to the intensive care unit where shedied of septicaemia.

Her husband toldthe Irish Times there was no way to save the baby when they arrived at the hospital.

“The doctor told us the cervix was fully dilated, amniotic fluid was leaking and unfortunately the baby wouldn’t survive.” They told her they were waiting for the baby to die.

“Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby could they induce to end the pregnancy. The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything.’”

“Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita, a Hindu, said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic,’ but they said there was nothing they could do.”

“That evening she developed shakes and shivering and she was vomiting. She went to use the toilet and she collapsed. There were big alarms and a doctor took bloods and started her on antibiotics.

“The next morning I said she was so sick and asked again that they just end it, but they said they couldn’t.”

After the foetal heart had stopped the contents of her womb were finally removed and her husband said, “That’s the last time I spoke to her.”

That night the hospital called and “They said they were shifting her to intensive care. Her heart and pulse were low, her temperature was high. She was sedated and critical but stable. She stayed stable on Friday but by 7pm on Saturday they said her heart, kidneys and liver weren’t functioning. She was critically ill. That night, we lost her.”

Thursday November 15, 2012



Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.

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