Investigations begin into death of woman who was refused an abortion

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 16 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7824
  1. Muiris Houston
  1. 1Galway

The death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant is the subject of two investigations at University Hospital Galway in the Republic of Ireland.

Savita Halappanavar’s husband, Praveen, said that she asked several times for her pregnancy to be terminated because she was in pain and was miscarrying. This was refused, he said, because the fetal heartbeat was still present and the couple was told that “this is a Catholic country.”

Halappanavar, who was 31 and a dentist who settled in Ireland in 2008, was subsequently taken to theatre, where a surgical evacuation of her uterus was carried out. However, her condition …

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