A new row erupted on Friday over Savita Halappanavar’s death after her husband Praveen Halappanavar said crucial notes relating to her repeated requests for abortion, when she appeared to be sinking after a miscarriage, were missing from the medical records of Galway University Hospital, where she died.
He said he was shocked that while they contained trivial details such as requests for tea and toast, key evidence that would have shown that she was denied abortion despite apparent risk to her life was missing from the documents made available to him.
“They have all the other information including requests for tea and toast and for an extra blanket, all of that is in the notes, but the important information about requesting the termination is not,” he was reported as saying by the Irish Independent.
The paper said the records did not include doctors’ notes for Monday, October 22 — the day the couple first requested a termination.
“While doctors’ notes are available for Tuesday, October 23, they make no reference to the requested termination which was reiterated on that date,” it added.
It was also reported that a number of clinical notes were added to the file after Savitha’s death.
Mr. Halappanavar, who is demanding an independent investigation into his wife’s death, said the revelation about the crucial missing notes had further destroyed his faith in the official inquiry ordered by Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE)
“It’s time to get the facts and the truth for Savita. 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,” he said.
The HSE promised to provide any information Mr. Halappanavar needed relating to his wife’s medical records as Health Minister James Reilly admitted that claims about missing notes were a matter of concern.
“This [the missing notes] is a concern and this is a substantive matter for the investigation. It would be prejudicial for me to make any comment,” he said.