Dublin: Ireland’s Health Minister James Reilly had a private meeting with the husband of Savita Halappanavar, the Indian dentist who died in a Galway hospital last month after she was denied abortion, even as Praveen has alleged that his wife’s repeated requests for a termination of pregnancy are missing from her medical notes.
Meanwhile, Ireland’s health watchdog has launched a parallel probe into the circumstances surrounding the care and treatment provided to Savita, who died Oct 28.
According to media reports, Reilly had a private meeting in Galway with Praveen Halappanavar and his solicitor Gerard O’Donnell. The minister expressed his condolences to Praveen on the death of his wife and said he would reflect on the concerns of the family, according to RTE News Ireland.
Savita, 31, died at the University Hospital Galway on Oct 28, a week after she presented with severe back pain. She was 17 weeks pregnant and was found to be miscarrying. Praveen says she asked repeatedly that the pregnancy be terminated. This was refused in pro-life Catholic Ireland, he says, as a foetal heartbeat was present.
Meanwhile, Praveen has expressed shock over the missing medical notes and told the Irish Independent how the absence of this information had destroyed any faith he had in the Health Service Executive (HSE), which is probing the reasons behind his wife’s death.
The detailed notes from University Hospital Galway, where Savita was admitted, include information on requests for tea and toast and additional blankets, but make no reference whatsoever to the couple’s requests over two separate days for the unviable pregnancy to be terminated, the daily quotes Praveen as saying.
Praveen’s solicitor has also said that his client is prepared to go to the European Court of Human Rights if an independent public inquiry is not set up into his wife’s death.
Separately the Irish Council of Civil Liberties (ICCL) has written to the health watchdog, Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) board and expressed doubts about whether any inquiry it carries out would be capable of meeting the State’s legal obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Irishtimes.com said.
The HIQA is to probe the circumstances surrounding the care and treatment provided to Savita.
HIQA said it made its decision after considering information from the hospital and the Health Service Executive “to ascertain the facts about the tragic case”.
Its investigation will assess whether the services provided complied with the National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare and national and international evidence of what is known to achieve best outcomes, said RTE News Ireland.
The terms of reference and membership of the HIQA investigation team will be published when finalised.
Praveen has said he will not participate in the HSE investigation into his wife’s death and has called for a full, sworn public inquiry, the Irish Independent writes.
Reilly said the potential involvement of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) in a parallel inquiry was “very welcome and adds a new dimension in terms of independence”.
“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,” the minister said.
“I would hope to have a full report before Christmas and the HIQA report as well.”
Reilly would not rule out a sworn public inquiry. However, he insisted such an option could see the inquiry “go on for years”.
Medical records made available to Praveen do not include doctors’ notes for Monday, Oct 22 – the day the couple first requested a termination, the Irish Independent says.
However, while doctors’ notes are available for Tuesday, Oct 23, they make no reference to the requested termination which was reiterated on that date.
“It’s time to get the facts and the truth for Savita,” Praveen is quoted by the paper as saying.
“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.
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. “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,” said Praveen.
Tony O’Brien, the chief of the HSE, said it would attempt to provide any information being sought by Praveen relating to his wife’s medical records.
He said the seven-member team would complete its examination of what happened and this is already under way at the hospital.
Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin
Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.
The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.
Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.
Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.
Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.
Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told
The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.
The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.
Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.
“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.
DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.
In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.
The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.
The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.
But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.
Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.
It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.
Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus
New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.
Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.
The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.
According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.
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