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Nov 24, 2012 at 11:46am IST

Savita death: Abortion request papers missing from hospital, claims husband

Dublin: Ireland ordered a third probe into NRI doctor Savita Halapannavar's tragic death at a Galway hospital earlier this month after her dentist husband Praveen claimed that crucial papers relating to her repeated requests for abortion were missing from the Galway University Hospital's files.

Halapannavar was miscarrying and had repeatedly requested her doctors for an abortion, a helpless plea that could not stand up against the firm Catholic traditions of the country which does not allow abortion. Praveen Halappanavar has now said that he will not co-operate with the probe. Leading members of the Irish government, however, are pushing him to cooperate.

Praveen had earlier refused to participate in an inquiry by the Health Services Executive (HSE) claiming trust deficit. This third probe, however, is also the second inquiry by the health quality watchdog.

The government, meanwhile, has asked Praveen to step back from a legal confrontation. Eric Byrne, Labour MP, said, "We would rather that the debate and discussions were held without the legal profession being involved."

The Irish government has said that it wants to fast-track the inquiry into Savita's death, and also speed up its own processes of amending and clarifying the laws on abortion. "We were going to legislate anyway. Next week the Parliament is going to debate the issues of abortion. We can no longer allow women from Ireland to travel to England or further afield to save their lives, we have to legislate in this country," Byrne said.