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Ten years on, Savita Halappanavar lives on… in the memories of Ireland

Dublin: Savita Halappanavar, an Indian woman, is still alive in Ireland and in the memories of her friends even after ten years. The fire that ignited her death has not been extinguished. Savita is living through the abortion law amendment and other controversies. Friends met yesterday to mourn Savita’s death on October 28, 2012, and to pray for her.

Savita as an indelible smile.

Mridula Waddepally and Moushumi Mandal of Galway remarked that Savita’s smile continued on even after her death. Mridula Waddepally paid Savita a visit in the hospital. Mridula stated that she is still unsure of how to cope with the death of someone like her sister.

Moushumi recalls Savita as the person who taught her how to always be cheerful. She still remembers that smile. We didn’t even have Diwali after she went. They were the ones who donated all of Savita’s clothing to charity after Praveen had taken her to India. The experience was unbearable.

Both agree that the legal changes brought about by their beloved Savita’s death are a relief. But they ask that no one can return Savita’s lost spotless smile and happy life. They are also saddened by the fact that they have lost their zest for life since Savita’s departure.

October’s demise

On October 21, 2012, Savita Halappanavar, who was 17 weeks pregnant, arrived at Galway University Hospital due to her physical condition. Praveen, her husband, was also present. The doctors consoled the couple by telling them that childbirth was not possible due to the fetus’s poor condition and that they would have to accept nature’s fate. Because it is a Catholic country, the hospital informed them that abortion was not permitted. At 17 weeks, the cause of death was determined to be presence and miscarriage.

Three inquests…but…

Three inquests were held in the months that followed. The coroner’s inquest listed evidence of UHG’s system failure.

The 257-page report by the Health Information and Quality Authority found that the hospital failed to provide even the most basic elements of care. The HSE investigation also revealed flaws in the hospital’s patient assessment and diagnosis. In addition, 33 recommendations were made.

No action was taken against any of the nine employees who treated Savita Halappanavar, who were found to have violated discipline.

Savita supports the Yes vote 

Savita was at the heart of the Yes vote in the 2018 abortion referendum. In 2016, Praveen Halappanavar’s legal action following his wife’s death was settled out of court. However, Savita’s death altered the country’s medical practise.

Savita not only rethought secularism in Ireland but also fundamentally revised medical ethics. That is why modern Ireland cannot forget her.

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