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The draft report into the death of his wife Savita has left Praveen Halappanavar (file photo) no closer to understanding why she died, his solicitor has said. Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Draft report on Savita death doesn't say why she died - solicitor

Gerard O’Donnell said that his client was a “very determined man” who wanted to know why his wife died.

THE DRAFT REPORT into the death of Savita Halappanavar has not answered the question as to why she died, the solicitor for her husband Praveen has said.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Gerard O’Donnell said that although the report was “very, very detailed” and identified a “number of shortcomings at all levels in the treatment of Savita Halappanavar”, his client was no wiser as to why medical staff didn’t intervene earlier to terminate her pregnancy.

“He was there himself. He knew what happened,” O’Donnell said. “The question he wants answered is ‘Why was this allowed to happen?”’

Outlining the timeline of events over the next number of days, O’Donnell said that he would attempt to arrange a date to meet with obstetrician Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, who chaired the 7-person team who carried out the review on behalf of the HSE.

Praveen would not be in attendance at this meeting, however.

Explaining that the draft report explained what happened, O’Donnell said that he hoped that Arulkumaran would be able to answer why his client’s wife was treated in the manner that she was.

Describing Praveen as a “very determined man”, his solicitor said that the report contained “very personal details about his wife” which would soon be in the public domain.


With the inquest into the circumstances surrounding the death of Savita due to resume next week, O’Donnell said that it would allow Praveen to hear testimony from the people who treated his wife is hospital for the first time ever.

O’Donnell was more positive about the recommendations that were outlined in the draft report, but warned that their implementation was vital if further lives were to be saved:

On the basis that the HSE adopt all of these recommendation and they become policy and/or guidelines that are fully implemented and observed then it certainly would, I would imagine, go a long way towards ensuring something like this would never happen again.

Read: Calls for Savita report not to be published ‘until family concerns are met’ >

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