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Savita's abortion requests missing from medical file

London, Nov 23,2012 (PTI): 16:37 IST
Praveen and Savita Halappanavar are seen during their wedding in a photo from the family wedding album in Belgaum in the southern Indian state of Karnataka
Praveen Halappanavar, husband of an Indian dentist who died due to pregnancy-related complications after being denied abortion in Ireland, says the medical notes made available to him do not contain their repeated pleas for a termination, but mention trivial requests for tea and toast.

"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," Praveen, whose 31-year-old wife Savita died on October 28 at Galway University Hospital, said.

The detailed medical records from the hospital, which were made available to Praveen, do 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.

Praveen described how the missing information had destroyed his faith in the Irish Republic's Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

"It's time to get the facts and the truth for Savita," he was quoted as saying by Belfast Telegraph.

"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," said Praveen, who has been demanding a full public probe.

It has also emerged that a number of clinical notes were added to the file after Savita's death.However, none of these refer to the termination request.

Tony O'Brien, head of the HSE, has asked the patient safety watchdog, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), to begin a separate investigation.

Meanwhile, Irish President Michael D Higgins, who earlier said the probe into Savita's death must meet the needs of her family as also the State, defended his intervention in the row.

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